Many what-ifs can haunt us, depending on the season of life we’re in.
Currently I am 14 weeks along in my second pregnancy. For numerous reasons it’s been far different than my first.
Unlike with my daughter’s pregnancy, which bubbled with hopes, dreams, and questions about becoming a mom, if I could describe this one in a few words it would be prayerful waiting.
This time around I am much more aware of the fragility of life. Stories and heartaches of friends who have miscarried or experienced stillbirths have been circulating and breaking my heart.
I pray and cry for them and can’t help but wonder quietly in my heart, will this be me, Lord? Oh how precious is each day I have with this little one!
This fear of losing him or her lingers and drives me to my knees.
But that’s the beauty of prayer – it can transform fear into faith. It blossoms worship out of worry.
If led by the Word, it repairs weak and trembling doubts with sound trust in the truth.
Prayer makes me face the darkest fears of my soul, and reminds me who my Good Shepherd is, the One who loves me most.
That’s one way abiding in Christ is so freeing and wonderful – the love of His Gospel drives away our fear (1 John 4:18).
As we remember our Savior in prayer, we remember the power of the cross. There, in His self-sacrificing act to pay the price for our sins, to renew and adopt us as His own, we remember that He is good. He defines good.
As my Old Testament readings continually remind me: “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” 1 Chronicles 16:34
Everything He does is good. Whether He gives or takes away (Job 1:21). Jesus can be trusted because He has reached to us in pure grace, providing salvation and restoring us in every way.
The Lord did what we could not do for ourselves, as ones stuck in the mire and darkness of sin.
“He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure.” Psalm 40:2 (CSB)
Fear can be crippling if we allow it to consume us. Yet with Christ, fear can be properly handled and ultimately be used to remind us to fear Him above all.
In another beautiful paradox of faith, only one fear leads to peace – fear of the Lord.
When we esteem God as sovereign and righteous, loving and merciful, informed and impeccable, we realize that any and every happenstance in our lives weaves into His divine web of redemption destined to become beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Any threat or circumstance in our lives comes from His wise allowance, that we may draw deeper into the wells of His grace and perceive further the brightness of His glory.
He also instructs us in His Word to think on “whatever is true” (Philippians 4:8), and this command seeks to protects us from dwelling on what-ifs. Instead, in this same passage, we are told to rejoice – to rejoice in the Lord.
Rejoicing doesn’t always look like smiles and clapping. It can be a quivering gratitude that even if the worst comes, the best still awaits us in Christ.
And for that reason, today can be a day of joy rather than dread.
“For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5
All of this processing of fear takes surrender. So pray this with me – for yourself or a loved one:
You are mighty, and You are over all. The world runs under your majesty, in the light of your glory. Yet, even as you move the heart of kings and the borders of nations, you know my individual life. You hold every little detail in Your blessed and holy hand.
And so, I acknowledge that my life was never really my own. It is Yours, and because of Christ the Son, it is beautiful beyond what I could have ever imagined or hoped.
In the power of His love every fear of mine can be driven away (1 John 4:18).
Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ, and in Him any fear can be conquered (Romans 8).
Father, I lift this fear to You, knowing that in the goodness and perfection of Your plan, no harm against me will prosper in the end (Isaiah 54:17).
You can use everything for good. Every hurt, every pain, every loss, every failure only conforms me further into the image of my precious Savior Christ and exalts Your Holy Name (Romans 8:28-29).
You can and will make all things new (Revelation 21:5).
I will entrust myself to You, for you are my faithful Creator and the Author of my life (1 Peter 4:19).
I submit myself and humble myself before You, desiring that Your will be done (Matthew 26:39).
I ask that by Your grace and power You protect, guard, uphold, [me or loved one]. Surely You are my helper; You are the sustainer of my soul. (Psalm 54:4)
Thank you Lord, for being my refuge, my strength, and my fortress, my ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).
When my heart hurts or dreads, may Your Spirit fill me with hope, peace, and joy as I trust in Christ’s Name.
Today I rejoice, because I know that in Your infinite might and wisdom You can turn my greatest fear into my greatest good. You are the one I choose to fear, and You alone.
To continue praying Scripture, check out my devotional: Praying the Psalms.