There’s a lot of ‘What Ifs’ in this life. What if I don’t get this job? What if I never get married? What if I never have kids? What if we don’t have enough money to make it this week? What if something happens to _____? What if we don’t make the right decision on this big decision for our family? What if I get cancer? What if this Dr’s appointment doesn’t go as hoped? What if this sickness never leaves? What if, what if, what if…..We could go for months listing them all.
I remember a little over 2 years ago, on one really bad Wednesday night…. We had put in a wood heater to see if it would be cost effective because gas prices were killing us. It was a very cold winter and it seemed like the kids would not stay healthy. One sickness after another. (Nothing big, just little bugs here and there but it seemed like someone had been sick for weeks on end.) That night our heater stopped working and it was supposed to be the coldest night of the year so far. My husband had been sleeping because he was working 3rd and I hated the first thing for him to hear when he woke up was ‘Oh yeah, the heater isn’t working. And oh yeah, the kids are still sick so we aren’t going to church tonight.’ One of us still planned on going, but he went out as soon as he got dressed to see what was wrong. Well 2 hours later, he was still working on it, so I was the designated parent to go to church. And I DID NOT want to. Wasn’t in the spirit, was a little mad that everything always seemed to hit at once, was soooooooo tired of 3rd shift and a tired husband and sick kids…..and you know? I didn’t want to go to church. But something pushed me anyway. And as I’m leaving I walk around the house to tell James bye and (please forgive me babe for telling this) but I hear yelling and metal being thrown and instead of telling him bye, I just left. I knew it was bad.
As I’m sitting in church, by myself, worrying about everything going on at home, a visiting preacher gets up to preach. And as he prays and reads, I’m thinking what if the heater doesn’t get fixed? We’ll have to stay with somebody. James is going to be too tired to go to work. What if he NEVER gets off 3rd? What if the kids are worse when I get home and we have to go to the dreaded doctor…but something the preacher said brought me back to where I was at the moment. He said something to the affect that God had moved in a mighty way and answered a huge prayer in the lives of these people he had been reading about. It was a big display of God’s power. And I thought ‘That’s what WE need Lord. An answer to prayer. A big one. It seems like it’s been so long since something WOW happened in our life.’ I will say here, that I’m ashamed of those thoughts. God has been, is and will always be good to us. SO much more than we deserve!! But no sooner did I think that, the Lord answered back and said ‘What if I don’t, Faith? What are you going to do then?’ I wrestled with those thoughts through the rest of the service. And into the night and the next morning. And I felt so very convicted.
Why do we love God? Why do we serve Him? Is it because of what He can do for us instead of what He’s already done? What if He never did anything else for me? For you? Would we still serve Him with all our heart? Would we still love Him? We think that’s easy enough to say; of course I would still love God! But what if those what if’s came true? What if you get cancer? What if you are never healed? What if you have to stay in a difficult job situation? What if you lose a child? What if your life changes forever? What then?
Psalm 63:1 “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;…”
When I read that verse, I thought do I long for the Lord or just for Him to help me? Do I thirst for Him or am I just thirsty for what He can do in my life? Those are strong words. Not just- yes I go to church and I do what I’m supposed to and I serve God. Do I LONG for Him? Do I THIRST for Him? You know true thirst? It’s when you’ve been out in the heat for a really long time and all you are thinking about is a big, tall, glass of iced water. When your body can’t take any more and all you want more than anything is a drink to quench that burning thirst. Is that how I thirst for God? Can I say with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him..”?
I have seen God move in big ways in the last few days in several other’s lives. And I am so thankful that He still does! He answers prayer, He shows mercy, He is good! But what if He stopped? The Bible says that God will supply all our need, according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. His riches are eternal. His supply never runs out. But what if it did? It’s dangerous to think of what if’s, especially when we know God’s word is true and that would never happen. But would what He’s done be enough? Would Calvary be enough? It should be.
I think instead of asking ourselves what if, we should be standing firm on EVEN IF.
Even if God never answers this prayer the way I want Him to, I will still love Him. Even if God never heals me, I will still love Him. Even if my life is turned upside down, I will still love Him. If we made our minds up before anything ever went wrong, I don’t think we would have as much trouble pushing the ‘What Ifs’ from our mind.
God gave me this song the next morning, and I thought it was just for the current situation I was in. But God never works short term. 2 years later and many times over I have had to go back to this. Not what if, Lord, even if.
Can I encourage you today? God is a good God. He delights in showing us compassion and showering us with blessings. His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting.
But doesn’t it make you feel wonderful when you know you are loved by someone not because of what you can do for them or offer them? They just love you because. They love you deeply and unconditionally. God loves us that way. What can we truly do for Him that could ever exceed what He has done for us? Yet He loves us still and in spite of how we fail Him. Could we not love Him the same? No matter what He does or doesn’t do for us, we will still love Him. We long for Him – His presence, His person. Not just how He can answer our prayer. Not just what He can do for us. Just because He first loved us.
What if that was our motivation?
My prayer’s been prayed, my strength is gone, I don’t see how I’m gonna carry on
I’m trusting you, I’m waiting for Your hand to change this circumstance, Lord
Then in a still small voice, I hear You speak
“What if I refuse, will you still trust Me?”
‘Cause what if I never move another mountain?
What if I never meet another need?
What if I never lift the load you carry?
Will you still love Me?
After all You’ve done, after all You gave, I could spend my life and still not repay
So I will trust Your heart, I will trust Your plan, even if I never receive again from Your hand.
You are worthy still to be praised and loved
With all my heart and soul I’ll lift your name above.
Even if You never move this mountain
Even if I don’t see how I’ll make it through
Even if You never lift the load I carry
Lord I’ll still love You.
Words & Music ©Faith York 2015