Tuesday 21st June 2022
Written by Cara Macdonald

For our family, like many others, the last few years have been challenging. Coupled with the difficulties of the pandemic, our daughter was seriously ill and faced an uncertain future. In recent months we have been blessed with the news that her cancer is now in remission, and the chances of recurrence are reduced. Yet amid the elation, a little voice asks, what if it comes back? 2 words; little, but powerful sowing seeds of doubt and fear.

We all have what ifs in our lives. While they may differ in scale and significance, they are at best unsettling and at worst all consuming. They can point forwards, anticipating the future or look backwards hinting at regret and chances missed. Dealing with what ifs can cause even the most robust hearts to be anxious and fearful. Fear can be debilitating and illogical and I find that my human attempts to overcome it are often unsuccessful. However hard I might try, there are situations that my reasoning abilities simply cannot deal with.

As Christians we know in our hearts that we are not promised a trouble-free existence, but our faith can help us deal with the what ifs God allows in our lives. If we are to find peace amid the what ifs, the first step is understanding that we will not find contentment by our own strengths. While we wrestle ineffectively with our own efforts to control situations, Jesus is with us, reminding us, that trusting in the Lord wholeheartedly is the key to the fulfillment we are seeking, and this can only be accomplished when our focus is on Him and not on our circumstances. Isaiah 41:10 tells us, “Do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

If we are to weather the storms of life, and deal with ghosts of the past and the uncertainties of the future, then we must increase our trust level in God. Instead of trying to navigate our own paths to serenity, we must recognise that His peace is all we need. Peace manifested in our own strengths is inevitably fragile, and that little voice saying what if will always be there. However, Jesus’ peace silences this voice by calmly gathering up all the what ifs and sending them on their way. This is what Jesus promises in John 14:27 saying simply “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

I still worry about lots of things, but I try not to let my concerns dominate me. I focus on what I do know, instead of what I don’t, and I know above all, that Jesus’ peace is all I need. I may not know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future, and God does not deal in what ifs.
 
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Newton Mearns Baptist Church · 2 Greenfarm Road · Newton Mearns · GLASGOW, G77 6FA · United Kingdom