Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What if?

Our daughter is heading to France in less than three months. She will be gone for a month.

While there she will help out at a Christian youth camp with whatever they ask of her. It will be fun. It will be exciting. But it's also a little scary. On her end, Elizabeth is faced with a million questions and anticipation. On our end, we're watching our oldest step out in obedience and experiencing what God has for her halfway around the world. This is more than just hanging out at a camp in Alps for a month. Elizabeth has had going over to France on her heart for years. Now it's going to come to pass.

Glory and I talked a little last night about the upcoming trip. With a far-away look in her eyes, she softly asked "what if...?" There have been a lot of what ifs lately, more so after we hit the purchase button on Travelocity and secured Elizabeth's tickets. What if she decides to stay over there? What if she gets sick? What if she meets a special someone? What happens to her there or afterward are big questions, but it's really out of our hands. What we know is what she's going through right now.

What if?

That probably is one of the most often asked questions.

Be it far from me to suggest that my wife is the only worrier in the family. My grandmother called me a "worry wart." I guess I have been predisposed to worry most of my life. I have to be reminded all the time that I have very little or no control over things.

Our friends the Macys are in Nepal as I write. They heeded the call to minister to Tibetans several years ago. Instead of Tibet, they ended up in Germany for several years, ministering to Tibetans. Now they are moving to Nepal. What if they didn't go to Germany because it wasn't what they really wanted at the time? What would they have missed out on as God prepared them for Nepal? Looking back now, they would have missed out on unique appointments that affected them and influenced others.

Our friend Jodi is battling cancer. I see her pictures all the time. She's got a great attitude and fearless disposition. What if Jodi didn't have such a great attitude and didn't choose to live in the face of the unknown? How would that effect her friends and family? Anyone who has gone through such a thing knows the answer to those questions. The what ifs are pointless.

There are things that are out of our control. There are things we can't see. And trying to control them is a fruitless exercise.

I shared with Elizabeth the other night James 4:13-15: "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit'— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'”

With so much out of our control in such a short life, it's just best to acknowledge that God has it under control.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-34: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Who is God? If He is who He says He is, we shouldn't worry about a thing.

What if?

I don't know. God knows.

And that's OK.

- Bill

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