What If?

What if?  She's seventeen years old, full of gentle and beautiful things, and she sits on my bedroom floor as she utters that statement numerous times.  What if?  And my youngest sister sits near her, giggling at the more ridiculous what-ifs entering the atmosphere.  Seventeen and wondering about love and how it will look in her life, wondering about how her prince will arrive or what kind of obstacles she'll have to face in the name of love.

I hush her with the assurance that God can be trusted, that all of her what-ifs are tiring and pointless because God writes her story and it will all work out.  And I send two not-so-little little sisters off to bed because I need to write this, need to capture this.  Not just for my sisters, but for your sisters.  For you.  For me.

Our what-ifs range from the hopeful to the panicked.  What if God does something amazingly beautiful with my life?  What if God leaves me here to die?  What if God blesses me with a wonderful husband and family?  What if I'm never ready, what if he never comes, what if I'm 56 and I turn around and realize that my dreams of having a family of my own are no longer a possibility?

We all face our own specific set of what-ifs and, if we allow them, they can become paralyzing.  Hear me when I say this: there is nothing the enemy desires more than to discourage and distract us as we pursue God's will for our lives.  We wrestle with a relentless assault of worries about our future, of questions about where God is leading us, of concerns about the discrepancies between our timeline and His.

But what if we trusted God with all of our what-ifs?  What if we quit avoiding what God wants us to do because we're waiting for an answer we like or a blueprint of the plan?  What if we quit worrying about if or how love was going to come into our lives?

What if we believed that love is already here?  

Because He is.  No matter where you are or what you've done, no matter your relationship status in the past or present, no matter how far you've pushed Him away.  Love is here, because Love loves you. 

Don't you understand?  The Creator of the universe looks at you like you are the creation of which He is most proud.  The heart of Christ beats for you.

The heart of Christ stopped beating for you.

If we want romance, if we want a love story to put all others to shame, it doesn't get much better than royalty laying down His crown to take on flesh and love us up close and personal.  Because the love that Christ offers, the love that Christ is, isn't a distant love that you can only read about in books or watch in movies.  Christ is here.  Love is here.

When the doctors can only offer percentages and apologies, Love is here.  When your spouse of 29 years declares his or her love for you has dried up, His love for you remains.  When friends forsake or forget you, Christ tucks you in His arms and bottles every tear you shed.

Life is hard, Church.  Life is messy.  But, praise God, Love is here

What if we lived like we believed it? 

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