What if…what if…?
I’m a fiction writer and have trained myself to play the “what-if” game. You know, like: what if the heroine is a runaway? What if the hero accidentally injured his younger brother while they were wrestling and now he carries around a weight of guilt? What if the antagonist is really the father of….?
You get the picture. All great stuff for a novel.
However, when it comes to real life, the what-if game is a bad habit. What if John died tomorrow? What if our health insurance won’t cover that bill? What if our house doesn’t sell in a timely fashion? Though I have little control over these worries, I still entertain them. Even invite them for tea and muffins (gluten-free, of course).
Recently, in the midst of a massive what-if, tea-and-muffin party, tightness squeezed my chest. Breathing became difficult. My hands started to shake as all the terrors of a very bleak future gripped me. “God, where are You? Can you see what’s going on? What if all these worries came true…?”
And in that moment, I felt as though He stood behind me and put His hand on my shoulder. A soft, near-soundless whisper brushed my ear—“One step at a time, my child, one step at a time…” And immediately all my anxiety evaporated.
My imagination? Possibly. After all, I do have a great imagination. In this case, however, I find it hard to believe that in my anxiety-riddled moment I could have manufactured the unexplainable calmness that poured over me and washed away all the what-ifs. I look back on that incident—which happened a mere week ago—and believe I felt the literal Hand of God. As I step toward the future, I sense that He is not far away. I may not see Him, but in scary moments, I can still feel His tender, loving touch.
(Originally posted December 9, 2016)