It's a land filled with fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the worst-case-scenario. Fear of something negative happening in the near future. Fear of "what if". Fear that life is caving in on you and what you assumed would never happen actually does. It steals my joy, my peace, and quite a bit of my sleep.
I used to shame myself for visiting the land of "what if". I knew better than to play with the fire of anxiety. I knew better than to let fear control me. I had seen God work in my life in so many ways that I shouldn't ever dare to question His sovereignty or His presence.
But lately God has given me a different perspective on the matter. Maybe He's actually encouraging me to enter the land of "what if". Maybe He's actually daring me to go there because that's exactly where He wants to meet me.
I used to tell myself, "Rachelle, don't go there. Stop imagining the worst. God's got this, and He's going to work it all out. Whatever you're imagining isn't going to happen."
Then I would respond back to myself in fear, "But what if it does?"
Yet maybe that's the key question here. What if it does? What if the worst really does happen?
He'll still be there, even if it does.
I'm sure Daniel asked God, "What if the King really does throw me into the lion's den?"
Moses asked, "What if Pharoah doesn't listen? What if he mocks me instead?"
The Israelites asked, "What if we have no way of escape when we reach the water's edge? What if we have no food to feed us in the wilderness?"
Esther asked, "What if I approach the King and he denies me? What if I am killed for this act of faith?"
Stephen may have asked, "What if they stone me, God?"
They're no different than today's questions. What if I lose my job? What if another job doesn't come through right away and we don't have enough? What if our savings gets depletes and the money runs out? What if I fall into debt?
What if my marriage goes sour? What if we get into a horrible accident? What if they say no?
What if it's cancer? What if my best friend dies? What if my child makes the wrong choice that alters the whole course of his life?
What if the pain doesn't stop? What if I get in over my head? What if our President brings our country to ruin? What if terrorism strikes? What if evil prevails?
What if? What if? What if?
Then we hear that gentle whisper saying, "What if?"
"Was I there when Pharoah mocked Moses, or when the Israelites reached the Red Sea and had no way of escape? Was I there when they wandered hungrily through the wilderness? I was there when they threw Daniel into the lion's den and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fiery furnace. I was there when Esther approached the King. I was also there when they stoned Stephen.
I was there when you lost your job and another job didn't come through. I was there when your money ran out. I was there when your marriage went sour. I was there when the car barreled into you. I was there when they said no and your dreams crashed to the ground. I was there when they told you it was cancer and when your best friend passed from life into eternity. I was there with you when you grieved. I was there when your child made that horrific choice, when your savings ran empty, and when the pain didn't stop. I was there to help you find a way out of debt.
I have always been there to lift you above your circumstances when you're in over your head. That's the point. You need to depend on me and not your own strength.
I am always there when you don't have enough because I don't want you to have enough. I want you to draw from My resources. I want you to watch Me provide for your needs.
I am there when it looks and feels like the sky is falling, your security is shaken, and evil is prevailing.
I am still there. In the land of "what if".
Trust me. I haven't gone anywhere. If I take you into the land of "what if", I will be there to hold you, comfort you, lead you, and guide you through it. I will meet you there.
Stop living in fear.
Live in the assurance of my constant presence, wherever you are. Whatever happens."