Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,This chapter is about the first of two similar "spiritual diseases," What If and If Only. Do you suffer from either of these? Can you trust God with your What Ifs?
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
(Quite possibly my very favorite verses.)
Linda Dillow actually recommends facing our What Ifs by asking ourselves what would be the very worst possible thing that could happen with them. Then continuing, "Would God still be God, would He still be Sovereign? Would He still be Love and Goodness?" (page 155). I questioned that, and Linda herself said that she wondered about it; she concluded that it was Biblical, though, based on the examples of Paul and Esther, among other things. And I agree. For myself, I would have to add not to dwell on the first part of that little monologue, though!
There is more about not dwelling on our anxieties here, too. In an earlier chapter it was "worry is like a rocking chair." This chapter calls it "playing ball with God." We don't want to toss our worries to God and then catch them back again, back and forth, back and forth. No, once we've given Him our worst What Ifs, we need to leave them with Him and trust.
Reading this chapter reminded me of a few What Ifs in my life right now. We need to move on to a new location, but we still don't know where to, and in my opinion this deciding and moving process has been taking forever. My What Ifs: What if we're still in this very same spot a year from now? What if we do move, and the next five years are no better than the past five have been? (Or if they're worse?) Amazingly, when I write it all out like that, really, it becomes so much bearable. God has been very, very faithful through the past five hard years; I know for sure that He will be with us no matter what is ahead.
Remember: Contentment comes from a proper relationship to God, not from a response to the circumstances Our What Ifs will either drive us to God and faith or they will drive us to worry and dependance on self (pages 153-4).Do you have some What Ifs in your life now? What do you think of Linda Dillow's recommended questions to ask ourselves? Do they help you with your current What Ifs, or have they in the past?