Friday, September 25, 2009

What If......

Do you struggle with making decisions? I don't mean regarding what to have for dinner or which color to paint the bathroom, but decisions that impact your life and the lives of others?

Sometimes we feel that we're between a rock and a hard place in our lives to the point that we just freeze, and don't do anything. Of course, indecision is, in fact, a decision of sorts, too.

But, I think that usually, when we get paralyzed by the "what ifs", we fail to see the opportunity to walk by faith that the L-rd is presenting to us.

Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. had a saying years ago: "Do Right! Though the stars fall, do right!"

Let's consider some "what ifs" that have gone before us.

What if Esther had not approached the King? She could have analyzed her situation for three days:

"If I go to the King uninvited, he could choose to behead me. If I tell the King that I'm a Jew and my people are to be destroyed because of Haman, he could decide that I am to be killed along with my people. If I misspeak, Haman could outsmart anything I do, and all will be lost anyway."

And on and on, she could have rationalized herself out of doing the right thing, which was to pray, trust the L-rd, and make her stand.

But because Esther didn't get bogged down in the "what ifs", she walked by faith, and was obedient to the L-rd, no matter how daunting the task and situation she faced. Because she was faithful to do the right thing, she saved her people from annihilation! Because of Esther, there are now many Sephardic Jews back in their homeland!

How about Abraham. Suppose he reasoned like this:

"Oh, I just don't know about heading out of here into the unknown! What if I get lost? What if I lead all my family into a situation that turns into a disaster and we can't get back home? What if my wife's family gets really upset with me? If this turns out wrong, they'll never let me forget it! What if I lose everything?"

Because Abraham didn't get bogged down in the "what ifs", G-d promised him a son and an uncountable number of descendants! If Abraham hadn't simply obeyed without doubting, he and his family would have been robbed of immeasurable blessings, and he would not have been "the Friend of G-d".

What if Nathan had said, "Oh---I can't tell the King that he sinned! What if he gets so angry with me that he has me killed for treason?" But because Nathan did what was right, G-d was able to restore David, a man after G-d's own heart!

You see......when we get bogged down by the "what ifs", we not only affect our own selves, but the lives of our family, and others in subsequent generations! We are so short-sighted sometimes, that all we see is the situation at hand and the obstacles inherent in it, but we fail to see the victory the L-rd will give us and the blessings that follow for us and our loved ones if we will just do right and obey by faith.

Does that mean that everything goes smoothly; that no one gets upset with our decisions or that relationships won't be affected? No. Sometimes there is a cost to following the L-rd. But it is minimal compared to the rewards; and much less than the cost of disobedience and a lack of faith.

What if? What if not?!

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to G-d must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6

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