“What if I were smarter?”
“What if I were prettier?”
“What if I were thinner?”
“What if I’d made that other decision?”
“What if I hadn’t been such a terrible mother?”
It’s a phrase that seems innocuous enough, but can be a tool of Satan to prevent us from growing in faith.
“What if” sets up for longing for what we don’t have or didn’t do, and shifts our focus from the blessings we have in front of us.
It prevents us from seeking God’s plan for the future because we’re too busy second-guessing the past.
If we’re not careful, those two words can create a spirit of resentment and rebellion.
Abraham’s wife Sarah second-guessed God’s “wait” and wondered “what if I never have a baby?”
Her choice to take matters into her own hands ended with bitterness and resentment when her slave had her husband’s baby (Genesis 16.)
The Israelites, freshly freed from the bondage of slavery, were proficient at “what ifs.”
“What if we were back in Egypt right now? At least then we’d have this or that!” (Exodus 16.)
Their what-if-thoughts distracted them from the freedom God gave them and the gift that He has planned for them.
What is your “what if?”
I wish I could tell you I have this “what if” stuff under control, but I don’t.
I have a “what if” that plagues me and I wonder about the choices I made as a mother.
(Us moms – we are the best at second guessing ourselves with “what ifs!”)
Isaiah 43:18 tells us not to worry about the past, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.”
And Proverbs 4:5 says, “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”
If we could stop looking at life through the rearview mirror with “what if” questions, we’d be able to focus more on the “what” God has planned instead of imagining scenarios that have no purpose.
Today, as you pray, ask God to help you shed the “what ifs” that stall you from growing closer to Him.
Ask Him to help you lay aside those questions and simply trust in His good plan.
Ask Him to help you stop beating yourself up with “what ifs” that are causing you harm and preventing you from growing in your faith.