Are you there? Are your kids there? Has the, “What if…” become real? Has fear morphed into reality? How do we access that rainbow of hope in the midst of hard?

  • What if I get cancer?
  • What if I get Covid?
  • What if I don’t make the team?
  • What if I lose my job?
  • What if my child becomes a prodigal?
  • What if my friend betrays me?
  • What if ____________?

Our fears, our worries sometimes do come to fruition. Then our question becomes, “Now what?”

Scripture is filled with those What if moments.

  • What if we wander for forty years?
  • What if Shadrach, Meshack, and Abed-nego are tossed into the fiery furnace? ( Daniel 3)
  • What if Daniel is thrown into the lion’s den? (Daniel 6)
  • What if Lazarus gets sick and dies? ( John 11)
  • What if Jesus is arrested? (Matthew 26)

We have a choice in how we respond to real life nightmares.

  • We can grumble like the Israelites.
  • We can decide to deny Jesus, like Peter.
  • We can trust God, like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack, and Abed-nego.

Or… in our humanness we might do all three: grumble, deny, and then trust.

We may be like Martha and have a mixed reaction, a little blame plus faith: “Lord if you’d been here… But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Yep, we have all experienced some form of struggle recently:  health concerns, employment issues, or relational divisions.

Our fear of What if has become reality.

Now what?

When What if becomes real, we need to tap into that rainbow of  hope.

How do we help ourselves and also help our kids navigate the hard things God allows and find hope in the process? I think we first must figure out how to weather those struggles and dashed hopes ourselves. Then we are ready to guide our children through hard times.

Here’s how I want to respond to and pray about the trial before me,

” If  _____________________, You Lord, the God I trust and serve, are able to deliver me from this suffering. But Lord, even if you do not, I will continue to have faith, worship, serve, and trust You.”

I know God can make a way where there is no way, like He did when He parted the Red Sea (Exodus 14), when He opened Elizabeth’s womb in her old age (Luke 1), when He brought the prodigal home (Luke 15). I also know God’s ways are not my ways. His purposes are bigger than I can comprehend.

He allowed the Israelites to wander in the desert for forty years. Lazarus was in the tomb for four days before Jesus called him out.

I  see God’s glory more clearly when there is some waiting time involved. During that time between, God  grows my character and my faith.

I fight against my what ifs when they become reality. But rather than hold tightly to my fear, I need to cling to my faith that is where hope is found. Even if What if becomes reality, I must remember, God is still  on the throne and He is with me even in the hardship. He will lead me, come alongside me, and be my rear guard. I know this because He says He will.

God is bigger than the What if storm. As a believer my response and challenge can be: Even if God has allowed this, I still believe.


© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.

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