The What if Question
The what if question is asked when we don’t know what to do. We are trying to figure out our options. First, when things around us seem to be out of control. Secondly, when things are happening and we are looking into an unknown future. Are they the same thing? Well, yes but they are certainly from different perspectives. The first is usually full of fear and doubt. Where the second will often have some hope and optimism.
It is interesting as to what can cause these feelings and questions. Life in general and what we like to think of has a normal ebb and flow. Yet, there are those times, as we noted, when it seems that life is out of control. There are also those times when it is just not easy to see what is coming.
OK, so what do I do, Pastor? What? Your asking me? Do you think I have the answer to these and other questions of life? Listen, I am just like you and I wonder a lot about questions just like these from my own perspective. What if I do this, go there, say that are all questions I (we) have every day. Sometimes it is easier than others and then there are those times when it is just hard to do life.
Is there a specific verse to turn to for the answer? Is there some special spiritual insight? You are going to love this answer, yes and no, (I told you so and don’t you just love it?).
There are verses to turn to and they can be found from Genesis to Revelation and everywhere in between. Read His Word and follow the Holy Spirit as you do so. You will find exactly what you need at that moment in time. You will also find that spiritual insight which comes from learning how God’s people and their God respond in the different situations of life.
You were probably looking to find a silver bullet, something that would make all your problems go away. You already know there is no such thing. Life is a day to day proposition. Yesterday is passed and can never be restored. While today is today and it is all you have. Because tomorrow is a hope. We live in the day not in the past or the future. The promise we have is that the writer in Hebrews 13:8 reminds us “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
We live in an ever-changing world that needs the never-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. It seems that people attempt to navigate life with the idea it is all about them. Do you remember reading Rick Warren’s book years ago “The Purpose Driven Life”? I know I did and on the first page all he wrote was this “It’s not about you.” That wasn’t something that he figured out all those many years ago. That truth has been there from the beginning. It was, is and never will be about you, me or anyone else for that matter. It will always be about God.
Life is not an easy journey. The roads can get narrow, steep and even like the rollercoaster heading downward at a rapid rate of speed. On this road of life, there will be those moments when you will feel as low as a snake‘s belly in a wagon wheel rut. Don’t just love word pictures? They express things in a way we can really get the point. If you’re like me you would say “been there, done that, bought the tee shirt”.
So you are saying “I get it Pastor, things are not as bad as I might think, but you don’t know what I am going through”. You’re right they aren’t and I don’t know but He does.
Joshua was preparing to take over the leadership after Moses death. In Deuteronomy 31:6, Elaine’s favorite verse in the Bible, it says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
I encourage you to regularly read God’s Word and there is good reason. It is from His word that we see and understand God. Yes, that was a promise to Joshua at a critical time in his life. The same God who gave him the strength to go forward is doing the same for you.
I slipped out to play golf the other evening. On the back nine, at the 15th hole, I ran into a back up. Waiting, as another single came up behind me. I apologized for the delay even though it was not my fault. He said no problem. It was a nice day and he wasn’t in the office working, well obviously neither was I. So we talked and then he joined me to complete the round. We went through the where are you from, what do you do, how much money do you make (got you on that one didn’t I?)
He is an attorney from New York with a place here in our community. Still practicing law, I hope he gets the hang of it (see I got you again). So he asked “what do you do Elbert?” and I said I am a preacher. I explained what I am doing now since I “repurposed” last year. He asked me about the Bible and said he wanted to read it but was not sure how or even what translation to read. I told him about Journey through the Bible. That is the way Elaine and I do it along with the church I previously pastored and many others we have introduced it to. Start in Genesis and read 4 chapters each day. No more and no less. In one year, you will have read through the Bible. Well, I told this to Frank and he assured me he was going to do just that and then he said what translation. I told him about the YouVersion app that would allow him to read from any translation he desired. You may be reading this blog today and desiring to read through the Bible. I encourage you to use the Journey through the Bible system I just mentioned. I would also encourage you if you need it to download the YouVersion of the Bible.
Now back to the point I want to make and it is that we all need to hear from God and be encouraged daily. The way to do that is to start each day in His Word. You will discover that when you do He will always speak to you. You have other things you do each day in order to make your life better. I know because Elaine and I take supplements and eat healthy. You are probably doing the same thing. So why not incorporate into your daily routine time with your God, Creator, Redeemer, you get the idea, every morning? If all the other is good for you, can you even imagine how good it will be for you to be in God’s Word and His presence?
A thought to ponder,