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Monday, February 26, 2024 (Mary Ann)

Posted on by Josh Heppner 0 comments
The What-If Game

A few weeks ago in our RCC Bible study we talked about how self-defeating two little words – what if – can be. Especially when we use them to agonize over our past mistakes/sins and obsess over what could have been.

For instance, I might dwell on, “What if … I had taken better care of my health when I was young? I wouldn’t be having all these problems now.”

Or, “What if … I had ended that destructive relationship sooner? The enemy keeps reminding me how it nearly ruined me, and now since I’m just a rotten judge of character I doubt every potential relationship that comes along.”

Or maybe even, “What if … I hadn’t told that first lie? Then I wouldn’t have had to tell a dozen more lies to cover up that first one!”

You get the idea.

The better choice, we learned, is to seek forgiveness, move past the past, learn from it, swap out What-If for What-Now and claim the promise that not only does our loving Father forgive, but he can “… cause everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28.

So I agree with not getting stuck in the past, BUT I propose not ditching the What-If game completely. Forget getting bogged down in the murky mess of past mistakes. Instead, define what’s good in our lives right now, then think back to all the in-between steps or twists and turns it took to get us to the present good. It’s a strategy that produces an attitude of gratitude.

For instance, for me, it’s “What if I hadn’t moved out of St. Paul to Illinois? And then what if I hadn’t decided to move back to my home area instead of the big bad city? Then I would have missed meeting a tribe-full of amazing women and for sure I wouldn’t be trying to write devotionals!”

Likewise for many of us, “What if I hadn’t met __________, who introduced me to her neighbor  who invited me to church? At that point, she was the only Christian I had ever encountered. How else would I have learned about Jesus?”

This new What-If can be like looking in a rear view mirror to see where we’ve been in order to be assured that our future is being planned by our Master Designer who can weave random bits of our lives into a beautiful whole. And for the future, we have this promise in Psalm 32:8: “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’”

Dear Sisters, our journey continues. God is not finished with us yet. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Do I hear an amen?

Mary Ann


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