Following up the season of Christmas and settling in to the New Year 2015 join me in engaging these “what if” questions and the ultimate trajectory their reality would lead to. Doing this offers a startling outcome.
Consider with me for a moment:
What if God had not given? What if He had not provided a model? What if God had not had compassion on the lost and needy world and had not sent a rescuer to offer The Ultimate Gift of Himself? Would anyone in any century, in any geographical location EVER, ever been able to conceive from within their fallen, separated from God, sinful, selfish grid of seeing the world been able to fabricate true, selfless gift giving? Seriously – could they have? Would they have? I don’t think so.
What if there were no Holy Spirit? Follow that trajectory to a total abyss of despair – there is not space to list all we would NOT have or be able to do – absolutely NO guarantees!
What if Shiprah and Puah, Hebrew Midwives from the Exodus 1 story had not obeyed God instead of the king? What would have happened to the children of Israel then? Side note: These two courageous women are mentioned by name in the first chapter of Exodus, but whoever the Egyptian king was at the time is a no name. God sees, remembers and honors those who follow Him even if they do not know it at the time.
What if Mary had said no the Angel Gabriel? Did she have a choice? What if Jesus had given in to Satan’s temptation? What if He had not died for our sins (John 3:16) what kind of irreparable doom would we be in?
What if Jesus, when He left earth, had not promised always to be with us as believers? What if He had not promised His Spirit?
What if Jesus Christ was ambivalent and undependable and irresponsible? What if He did not promise to meet all of our needs? What if He changed His mind and the good work He promised to complete in us (Philippians 1:6) suddenly stopped and was abandoned? Where would I be? Where would you be?
Following this trajectory of “what ifs” has re-calibrated my mind into a deep gratefulness for these and hundreds more blessings that come with being a follower of Christ.
Blessings that come from the heart of a God who loves, forgives, indwells, listens, comforts, provides, empowers, saves, heals, empowers, teaches, guides, keeps His word, gives purpose and on and on and on.
He anticipates our predicaments and loves us as only the Good Shepherd can. He is the best Shepherd ever. He knows exactly what we need when we need it – in darkness and in light. He will never leave us or forsake us – NEVER. He sees. He knows. He provides. He cares.
I do not want to be dismissive of all the blessings of being a follower of Christ. I do not want ungratefulness to characterize my life more than a thankful spirit. Thinking about these and other “What ifs?” has given me a fresh consciousness of what I have and what is really important. Praise God none of these what if’s are reality. Praise God we are not living in a bad dream. We may be living in difficult times. You may be entering 2015 experiencing serious setback financially, or with your health compromised. You may have experienced recently a deep loss that almost seems you can’t recover from.
BUT, you and I – if you are a believer, a follower of Christ, have been forgiven by the Risen Savior and have His Presence within us as long as we are on earth with the promise of Life with Him forever, forever.
This is no “what if”!