“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
Chris survived his first psychotic episode that hit during his junior year in high school. With the help of excellent home bound instructors, he even finished the year on time. God was faithful.
The night before his senior year, lots of what ifs filled my head.
What if marching band proves to be too stressful for Chris? What if other students say something to him about his hospitalization? What if teachers are too demanding? What if he can’t make it to the nurse’s office to get his medicine? What if his friend isn’t in any of his classes? What if no one sits next to him at lunch? What if…
‘What if’ is usually followed by someone’s greatest fear, their worst case scenario. But suppose ‘what if’ was followed by someone’s greatest hope, their best case scenario.
Calm assurances would replace doubts and fear. There would be no limit to what could follow ‘what if.’
Here’s how it would sound:
What if God filled Chris with His perfect peace? What if the Lord arranged for Chris’s friend to be in several of his classes? What if several people sat with Chris at lunch every day? What if Chris remained content and clear thinking in spite of a stressful band director or demanding classes? What if I felt God’s presence during Chris’s school days?
What if I created new habits that led to transformed thinking?
What if I woke up and cast all my care on God, instead of worrying about what my day will be like? What if I eagerly anticipated how God will help me instead of feeling unsupported?
Jesus told his disciples not to worry about what they will eat, drink, or wear. Proof of His provision surrounded them. God’s care could be seen in the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.
Can you imagine a bird pacing around with her head down murmuring, “What if I don’t find any food? What if I can’t make my nest in time?”
Jesus assures us we’re more valuable to Him than any bird. There is no limit to the joy and peace we can have as we trust Him. The Holy Spirit will fill us to overflowing with hope.
What ifs can torment or comfort depending on our focus.
Oh heavenly Father, increase our faith!