But, What If...?

But, What If…?

Do you ever ask, but what if? I do. The what if’s and if only’s of life snag my thoughts and drag me down.

I am having hip replacement surgery on Monday.

Hip replacement has become so routine that the surgery itself will only last 45-60 minutes. I can take for granted how skilled is the doctor, and in a short hour I will be on my way to recovery and shouldn’t be out of commission for very long.

But then the busyness and noise of the day stops, and my thoughts come rolling in. The What ifs of the future threaten my little earthly kingdom and force me into an honest status update. I am afraid.

With the pending surgery, I feebly face my gigantor fears: will I survive? What If I die on the table? What if I lose the ability to work and minister?

These questions attack deeply to the core of my identity and my very existence. Daily, I might add.

Meanwhile, the flowers are blooming.

Several weeks ago Alexis picked a lone daffodil and carefully placed it in the tiny mom vase on the kitchen windowsill above the sink. After a few days, the water in the vase vanished and the flower began to dry. I have kept the dried flower because it reminds me of the brevity of life. Isaiah the prophet contrasts the frailty of humanity with Almighty God. (Isaiah 40:6-14)

My thoughts vacillate between heaven and earth. Like grass, my life seems short-lived. I will be with the Lord when I die. It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, or what on earth I’m doing, if May 21 is the day of my death I can not stop it. It will not matter if I am at the church or at home or at the hospital. I have an appointment with death. (Hebrews 9:27) When I die I will be in the Lord’s presence. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Yet it would seem that it would be far better for the kingdom if I stayed here on earth. Is my life over? Is God finished? I resist the temptation to rationalize the necessity of my existence. God’s purposes are not dependent on me. Worrying adds nothing to my life. I have to capture my runaway thoughts. (Philippians 1:20-27, Philippians 4:8, Matthew 6:27)

I dare not stand in the past, worrying about what could have been: if only this or that. I mustn’t rush ahead and stress about the future: what if this happens or that? I must stay in step with the Lord Jesus every minute of the day.

My whole life — present and future — is in my Savior hands. My God will keep me safe. Goodness and mercy will follow me all of my days and I will dwell in God’s house forever. He will lead me in the path of life. He fills me with joy in his presence, and at his right hand there are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16). Jesus has conquered the grave. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Nothing at all will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8)

by Heather Soukup, Children’s Discipleship Director