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The What-If Game…

By December 5, 2019August 30th, 2022Devotional

Have you ever played the What-If game? You know the game – you think about something and before you know it, you are down some deep rabbit hole considering all kinds of alternatives and things that could happen to you. And you never think about all the potential good stuff. It’s always the stuff that can go wrong…

Well, I am the world champion of the What-If game. Ever since I was a very young boy, I was taught to consider all the alternatives, plan for the worst and then I would never be disappointed but occasionally I would be pleasantly surprised. As I look back on that time, I can see how I developed anxiety and worry about all the things that can go wrong in any given situation.

I have always believed that all this worry has been hard wired in me – and I don’t like it about myself. It seems that no matter how hard I try, anxiety and fear always tend to creep into the equation. I think I am afraid of not being in control – and that’s really the wrong attitude to have.

This past Monday at breakfast, a friend and I were discussing my worries and anxieties. Rather than look at all the different things that could happen, he refuses to succumb to the pressure and let me know that he refuses to play the What-If game. That sounded so gratifying!

For some reason, in that moment, his words really resonated with me. These worries, fears and anxieties are the kinds of things that I need to turn over to God. At some point, I must realize that I am not in control – that is the domain of God, and God alone… and I can’t change outcomes just because I worry about them. Being a master of the What-If game doesn’t mean a thing – except that I have wasted a tremendous amount of time looking at possibilities that have no basis in reality – fear takes over…

From my earliest days, I have been known as the fix-it guy and I have always tried to have answers in advance of knowing what the real issue is – just in case. And you know what? Sometimes there isn’t anything that needs to be addressed. Why borrow trouble? So I am going to really try and stop playing the What-If game. That means that I have to raise my trust level with God and depend on His promises to us. Our verse for tonight is a long one. The apostle, Matthew, who wrote the Gospel that bears his name, tells us the words of Jesus as He talks about the birds and the flowers compared to those who belong to Him.

Matthew tells us, in Matthew 6:26-31, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…

My encouragement this evening is that God has it all under control – and that’s great news for us. He doesn’t need us to worry about things – and it doesn’t do any good anyway. My prayer is that we will all stop playing the What-If game. While some of us never wrestle with this problem, many of us do. And re-dedicating ourselves to trusting God, believing and knowing that He has it under control is the best solution. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

One Comment

  • David Toussaint says:

    What a true statement for us all. I have to jerk myself awake when I start going down that rabbit hole, and sometimes it is frequently.
    Anyway, praise the Lord He shows us the way out.

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