• Kate Clinton

Queen of What-Ifs

I can be the queen of what ifs. I can take any situation and think of numerous what ifs that always end in a dramatic demise. When our son Camden got into a little trouble at school, I hammered him with too many what ifs and ended it with “then you'll be living under a bridge and I won't give you any money.” Most of my ridiculous, concocted stories usually have that bridge ending. When Jim leaves for a work trip, I conjure up all kinds of what ifs. “What if someone breaks in?” “What if a pipe bursts?” “What if there is a fire and I can't get to the kids?” If I feel a new pain, I come up with enough what ifs that usually end up with me dying, that same night, from some terrible disease. I can even come up with some what ifs that happen after I am dead. “What if Jim marries a new perfect lady and realizes I stunk at being a wife?” “What ifCamden really does end up living under a bridge because I am not here to remind him he might?”

What ifs can take joy out of life. And it's also something that questions God's goodness. If your life is ruled by what ifs, then your faith is small. Yikes. I am learning to replace my what ifs with “what if...I trusted God?”
What if...I trusted God to protect me at night?
Psalm 4:8 “When I go to bed, I sleep in peace, because, Lord, you keep me safe.”
What if....I trusted God that He'll lead my kids on the right path?
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
What if....I trusted God that I won't miss a day on Earth that I am not supposed to?
Job 14:5 “The length of our life has been decided. You alone know how long that is. You have set the limits for us and nothing can change them.”
As I work on replacing my what ifs with what if I trust God, my goal is to take away the what if part completely and just have the trust God part left.
In Matthew 14:26-32, Jesus was walking on the water to the disciples that were out on a boat in strong winds. They were scared and thought it was a ghost. Then Peter said, “IF it's really you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus told Peter to come. As he was walking, Peter began to sink and Jesus caught him and said, “Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?” I can imagine Peter's what ifs as he walked on the water with Jesus. “What if a giant fish bites my foot?” “What if I start to fall in and get my clothes wet? Then I will be uncomfortable all day!” “What if I sink and another disciple gets my favorite seat on the boat?” Peter! Come on! You are walking on the WATER! To JESUS! Don't let doubt make you miss that miracle!
Isn't that what what ifs are? Doubt? Doubt that God is always good? Doubt that He cares for you? Doubt that He notices you? Doubt that His plans are best for you and your family? It certainly isn't easy and will take discipline, but I think a life with less what ifs would be a life with more faith and trust in the assurances of the Lord. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Work with me to replace your what ifs with I trust God. I am working on it day by day.

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