Monday, June 15, 2015

What ifs: Defeat or Empowerment


 


Most of my life what ifs have seized me with an awareness of potential snares, often causing me to stumble down the slippery slope of self-doubt, insecurity, or recrimination. By the time I finished wringing out every possible scenario, I was a fractured mess. Once you travel down this path, it is never ending, branching off into a mind field of detonated thought bombs.

            What if I had been bolder?
            What if I had stood up to her/him?
            What if I hadn’t been so insecure?
            What if I had been more truthful?

These are all barren fields. I can promise you I’ve visited each of them. Why? Because I know the trail so well it has become a pattern. Who am I listening to? Who seeks to keep me wrapped up in my own frustration and remorse?

1Peter 5:8 says, “Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.

Satan wants me to loose my focus on God. Satan desires to barricade hope. Every time what ifs grip me, dragging me into murky waters, I allow Satan to gain stronger footholds into my life.

Digging through Scripture one day, it dawned on me—— what ifs can also be an awareness of possibilities and potential. Did you hear that? Two words that dredged up defeat can also offer empowerment.

Putting the awe and wonder of God into what ifs creates a new panoramic diversion announcing, “All things are possible with God”. In this new mindset, our God-given creativity begins to explode into positive options. I see clearly that apart from God, I can do nothing but mess things up.

The hardest parts of what ifs is breaking our conditioning. We have to purpose ourselves to turn defeat into optimism. Who needs a zip line to failure? Remember God’s goodness in the past. “The Lord was on our side.” Remember every trial, concern or doubt has an ending. “The snare is broken.” Remember “our help is in the name of the Lord.”

“The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope.” Colossians 1:5-15 MSG, paraphrased

I’m going to work on those what ifs. They’ve been negative for so long, but I think I have an example to share in the next post. It's the last what if post. It's probably the most profound.

What is your biggest what if? If it is negative, how can you turn it into something positive?

God bless you!
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