Advertisements

Surrendering The “What Ifs?”

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34 ESV)

I once read a statement that said: “90% of the things we worry about never come to pass.” For some reason, I still do not quite believe that. Oh, I can look back over my life and see that most of the things I have spent my time worrying about never happened, probably more than 90% in my case. But I still don’t seem to fully get it. I still tend to worry, fret, and be anxious over things that I know will not likely really ever occur, yet I cannot seem to reason my anxieties away or convince myself that the newest fears clouding my emotions are no more imminent than the thousands of others which preceded them.

Facing a great many changes in my life, including a relocation and an occupational move, I find myself once again battling the trepidations of uncertainty which inevitably accompany times such as these. Yet in a moment of reflection and self-examination just a few days ago, it occurred to me that the majority of the fears I am struggling with are not from difficulties that have actually presented themselves, but from potential hardships and obstacles which may present themselves further down the road. Most of my anxieties are not from problems that I am currently facing, but from future, heretofore unrealized difficulties which may or may not ever really happen — more than likely, the latter. Most of the fears in my life do not come from what is, but from what if?

The Lord Jesus understood this tendency in human nature when He instructed us to not be anxious for tomorrow. He knows that we all struggle at times with the uncertainty of the future and the things that might happen to us. He knows that the what ifs? that prey upon our worried minds can overwhelm us to the point where our faith and trust in Him begins to slip and anxiety starts to take over. The Lord’s directive to us concerning this is to not worry about the what ifs?, but rather focus on what is actually happening here and now. Not that we would be overwhelmed by fear of our current circumstances, but that we might trust Him to bring us through them. There are enough real and tangible hardships and trials in our life, there is no need to concern ourselves with possible ones.

Standing at this crossroads in my own life, I can think of no better time to change the way I look at tomorrow. It is time to surrender my what ifs? to the Lord, knowing that He is faithful in all things, that nothing will ever happen that He does not permit. We can become so filled with fear of the future and regret of the past that we lose sight of what God is calling us to do today. The future is in His capable hands, we need not fear it. He has seen what will happen, He knows what lies ahead and has done all that is necessary so that we can continue to walk safely with Him then just as we do now. He is the God of the what ifs? in life, He will have everything under control tomorrow just as He has everything under control today.

May the God of all our “tomorrows” bless you and keep you. To Him goes all glory. In His service,

Loren

[In light of my very busy schedule over the coming days, I will not be writing a new post next week. I am hoping, Lord willing, to resume our look at Romans and Exodus starting the following week.]

*English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001  by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Advertisements

12 responses

  1. Hi Loren,

    In all our “adventures”, our Lord knows our future as well as our past…. We can entrust it all into His hands — even all the literal agonies…. We’ve gone through some life changes that have cut us very deeply — but, twenty-some years later, we can see God’s love in it…. The changes were the farthest thing from our desires and hopes at that time…. Now we wistfully look back, thankful for the times we had back then, but knowing God is leading and testing all the way home.

    I know your relocation and occupational moves will put you exactly where God wants you…. There’s a job waiting that our Lord wants done. :)

    Margaret

    Like

  2. This is the second post today I’ve read about not fearing, not worrying. I love the passage you have quoted. Here’s the saying I posted in a comment at Moore to Ponder: “Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered, and there was no one there.” When we have faith that God is in control and wants what is, in the big picture, best for us, then there is no need to fear or worry about what tomorrow will bring.

    I love your skepticism on the statistics, though. I remember a High School teacher once saying we are 95% habit. At that time I thought he was totally nuts. But the older I’ve gotten, the more I see that is true. And so if we develop a habit of prayer and of trusting God for right now, and for whatever may come, we can let go of the habit of worry and fear. Peace, Linda

    Like

  3. Loren, this is so perfect for us all. Sometimes I think I should “worry” a little more about the future and what if’s than I do! ha! (most people in my life would agree!! ha!) But it’s just that I’m not made that way . . .I have all I can do to make it through today. Believe me, I’d probably worry if I could. What I tend more to do though. is look back with regret, the backwards worry over what I’ve done. That is a waste of time too!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to encourage us to trust Him with it all, the past, the present and the future! God bless you and all the changes you are going through right now, with Jesus. I will trust He’s got you!

    Like

  4. Thank you, Loren

    Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing :-)

    “The Lord’s directive to us concerning this is to not worry about the what ifs?, but rather focus on what is actually happening here and now.”
    It seems this worrying thing is not really new at all… ;-) … Job lamented that the thing He feared most had become a reality. (ref Job 3:25) As you pointed out, God sees the beginning and the end at the same time … He is not surprised by anything. Nothing will sneak by Him. :-)

    Today I lost something very dear and precious to me. We spent hours turning the house upside down … I felt like the woman who lost the gold coin and searched high and low for it. The difference? I didn’t find what I was looking for. What I found instead was an earring I had written off as lost forever. This earring was a gift on a milestone birthday and I had packed it away. I didn’t want to wear it lest it got lost. (How funny. ) It showed up today even though God knew where it was all along.

    Your post was a timely reminder for me today. The Lord knows exactly where that elusive ‘treasure’ is. I get to decide if I will set my heart on it and stay awake all night trying to retrace my steps, or if I will leave it in His hands and ask Him to set my heart right. While I’m at it, I may as well lay everything else I have concern about right there at His feet! What’s the point of walking around with them when He has offered to take the ‘what ifs?‘ off my plate?

    Praying God’s perfect will as you take the next steps with Him. May His peace flood you through and through as He positions you exactly where He wants you to be!!

    Blessings,
    ann

    Like

  5. Thanks, Margaret, your encouragement means a lot :)

    Please keep me and my family in your prayers.

    Like

  6. “Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered, and there was no one there.”

    I like that :)

    So much of what we fear is nothing but shadows and shifting sands, darkness that is expelled as soon as we let the “Light” in.

    We are creatures of habit, indeed. I know for me, it is time to change some old habits and develop some new ones!

    Thanks, Linda, God bless you :)

    Like

  7. Thanks, Deb, for the uplifting thoughts :)

    I have always been a person who worries about the future more than I should…trust me, I think you’re much better off not having such a tendency! It’s one thing to be anxious over today’s problems, at least you can do something about them. Trying to fix problems that haven’t even happened yet (and probably never will) is a very futile and frustrating endeavor. I think the Lord is getting through to me on that.

    Thanks for your encouraging words, Deb. I know He’s got me and is putting me right where I need to be :)

    Like

  8. Wow, what a great illustration Ann, thanks :)

    I guess sometimes we find what we are not even looking for when we least expect it. I do hope that you find that first thing. What a great reminder that we do well to leave it all in HIs hands and not worry ourselves “retracing steps” and losing sleep.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Ann, I am definitely blessed by it!

    Like

  9. I just want to say how grateful I am to all of the friends I have who visit this blog and offer up their encouragement.

    I originally started writing “Answers From The Book” to share what the Lord was showing me from His Word. What I have gained in the process is so much more than I could have imagined. I have learned so much from the wisdom and godly counsel of those of you whom I have come into contact with while writing these posts, what a blessing it has been!

    Thank you all for your encouragement and kindness during this time of transition in my life.

    Loren

    Like

  10. That’s a given… :)

    Like

  11. Hi Loren,

    I found it! Quite a miraculous thing too :) Popped up when I wasn’t looking at all.

    Thanks much.

    Blessings,
    ann

    Like

  12. Awesome! I’m so glad you found it :)

    Like

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: