Have you ever had a thought of: What If… Dangerous thoughts, wouldn’t you say? They lead down a non constructive path of question after question – that will never be answered – and if you aren’t careful, can leave you in a pit of despair.
In my previous post, Obedience, I spoke about forgiving others without ever receiving an apology. I also spoke about apologizing to those whom I have wronged… There were two individuals on my heart to whom to apologize, one of which to release from all offenses against me. Difficult conversations! Still, I obeyed. The first, I could probably use a do-over… But that’s neither here nor there, I was thrown a curveball, knocked me off course. The second… Ah, the second… The apology and forgiveness was years in the making, and the only way I could truly be released. Hadn’t I had a similar, but very different, conversation with my first ex?
I had a thought of “What If…” I don’t know why I had that thought… I have come so far from that time and place, why look back now? I mean, yes, I am alone. And, guess what! I’m not lonely or lacking. So, what was that thought? What if he still loves me? Yes, I really had that thought. After all this time. After all the pain, the tears, even knowing we’re finished… “What If…” crept into my mind.
I didn’t dare tell a soul!
My daughter shared her dream with me yesterday morning… “You were back with (my ex). And you were – different. You were cursing.” She shared a scene of a simple discussion turned ugly. A warning. I laughed. I lied, “There’s no way I would even think about going back (the lie)…” Obviously, I thought about it. Not heeding my godfather’s wisdom to, “Stop looking to the past, and look only to the future.”
Children of Israel
We happened to be listening to the Bible on the way to church yesterday morning. After she shared her dream, I turned on our reading for the day. Wouldn’t you know we listened/ read about the children of Israel, and how God’s anger was kindled against them, because for the tenth time, they wanted to go back to Egypt – the land of their captivity. As a result, they missed out on their blessing – entering into the land that flowed with milk and honey.
This is something that I cannot do! I cannot risk losing my blessing. I cannot risk having the Lord’s anger kindled against me because I desire the very thing He delivered me from. Or I’m “curious” about it – “What If?”
Another thing I realize is that if I demand something of Him, good or bad, eventually He will give me that which I am demanding. The children of Israel made demands for a king – all of the other nations had kings! Samuel warned them that God had ordained for them to have judges rule over them… They did not want judges, they wanted a king. Eventually, God gave them exactly what they wanted. Not all of the kings were good and just.
I too have made demands – pleas (potāto – potato). No matter the word I wish to use – had I listened to God in the first place, it would have saved me in the end… Lessons learned. Now I know and pray for His will to be done in every aspect of my life.
Avoiding the “What If” Trap
For me, once I get started on the “What Ifs” it is difficult to break the cycle. However, as long as I keep my eyes focused on the future – I know that there is a plan for my life. I know that all things happen for a reason. I know that there is a purpose for all things. I know that as painful as the process may be, enduring it, will bring me to my expected end.
Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV) “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”