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Battling “What if’s” with Courage and Faith

You know that 3 AM wake up call when suddenly out of a sound sleep your mind starts whirling?  The “what if’s” begin chasing you, and your thoughts take off running like a wild pony across a land of no boundaries. Not enough money, not enough time. Strangers after my kids, strangers catching my kids. What if, what if, what if echoes on. 

Over the next few months, I will be facing the greatest battle of my life. The cancer is in my body, but the battle is in my mind. With every warning I read, I stop to pray, “Lord, let me believe you, trust in you, and not in these predictions.”  When I believe the “what if’s” before they even get out of the gate, then I have already doomed myself to their crippling power.

If we are going to win the battle for our minds, and we can, then we must have sufficient ammunition stored and ready for use.  We have the living, powerful, promise-filled Word of God in abundance – In the pages of your Bible, on your phone, spread across social media, and on a gazillion web pages across the internet. Youversion advertises “Experience it anywhere.”  It surrounds us, but we often ignore the very power of it.

In Deuteronomy 31, we read the great declaration of Moses at the age of 120 years old.  

The people had wandered 40 years and were finally about to enter the Promised Land. Ahead was a land of abundance, but also the threat of treacherous enemies. As he laid out the dangers, I imagine the Israelites sighed, “Really, Lord? Again?” Moses must have heard them because he presented their new leader, Joshua, with this instruction: “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

God doesn’t call us to hide from our adversaries. He asks us to stand our ground with courage and to and Keep Expecting Amazing. I read this challenge and hear the Lord say, “Put on your big-girl pants, Diane.  We are going into battle together.” These verses in Deuteronomy have accompanied me through many a struggle in my lifetime. This I know from experience. 

Fear cripples, but faith breathes strength into our bones and soul. 

The Lord addresses the real enemies of life:  Do not be afraid.  He warns of the “what if’s:  Do not panic before them. And then He follows that up with a great big, beautiful promise: “The Lord YOUR God will personally go ahead of YOU.”  To this I add, “I am right behind you Lord. Lead on.”

Don’t go into a new day without fresh courage from His Word. Start anywhere. The Psalms. A devotional. YouVersion. Online Bible study at Bellevue Women.  Anywhere in Scripture!  Don’t end a day without putting fear in its place.  “I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4). Repeat it often: “He will neither fail ME nor abandon ME.” 

“Lord, you created this day, and I thank you for it, whatever may come my way. I know that you personally go ahead of me, and this is a wonderful and lofty thought.  You love me dearly, and I rejoice in this.  You are “the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:8)  Because of this truth, I know that you redeem my yesterdays; stand with me today; and plan ahead for my tomorrows.  This I believe, and in you I place my trust.”

Always Expect Amazing,

Diane Strack