Islands seem so romantic. The gentle sea breezes and the soothing sound of the waves crashing on shore. The breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. The peace-no hustle and bustle of the mainland.
And yet, an island can also hold us captive. If we have no way of getting off, we might not be in a 5’x5’ cell but we’re prisoners just the same. Stuck, going round and round but never accomplishing anything. When the storms come, we’re sitting ducks with no place to run. Isolated and alone.
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to an Island. It wasn’t the kind with gentle breezes and the soothing sound of waves. Oh no, this Island was one of my own making. It was the Island of “What If?” Have you ever been there? What if I don’t get that job? What if my children grow up to be drug addicts and alcoholics? What if I’m forgotten? What if it’s cancer? What if they don’t like me? What if I fail? What if God fails me? Round and round we go in the “What If’s?” Held captive, not in a 5’x5’ cell but a prisoner just the same. The Island of “What If?”
When we allow the “What If’s” to rule our lives, we run round and round never accomplishing anything. We’re stuck and we wonder why.
“What If’s?” allow fear to run rampant in our lives and keep us from trusting the One who holds us in the palm of His hand. (Our lives are in His hands and He keeps our feet from stumbling. Psalm 66.9)
“What If’s?” isolate us.
“What If’s?” keep the focus on us. “
What If’s?” hinder us from knowing our God. (But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken! Jeremiah 9.24)
“What If’s?” hold us captive and hamper us from embracing the beautiful plan God has for us. (“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29.11)
But there is HOPE! We no longer have to live on the Island of “What If?”; this Island of shifting sand and endless anxiety! God wants to lift us up out of this muck and mire and place our feet on solid ground. (I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire and He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. Psalm 40.1-2)
Today is the day to leave the Island of “What If?”! Call out to Him, put Your hand in the hand of the One who loves you (. . . Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15.5) and experience FREEDOM, it’s what Jesus gave his life for!