What if…?

What if I fail?

What if I’m not strong enough?

What if I’m not smart enough? What if I say the wrong thing? What if I pour everything I have into it and it isn’t enough?

Or worse, what if I just don’t want to? What if I get tired? What if I fall into sin one too many times?

What if everything is my fault? What if what they say about me is true? What if I can’t figure it all out?

What if those things that I thought were right were actually wrong? What if they lied to me? What if I made a decision that was foolish?

What if my health completely collapses and my anxiety and my fears smother me completely and all I can do is rock back and forth and cry out “Abba, Father”?

What if my good works were selfish? What if my gift of cold water wasn’t enough? What if I didn’t visit enough?

What if I just get tired and can’t read another dry theology text book? What if my words fail? What if I can’t tell the difference between finitude and sin? Between rest and laziness? What if I don’t do enough?

What if opportunity came knocking but I was just too tired, too exhausted, to discouraged and too disappointed to answer?

I can’t sort it. I look into the depths of my soul and all I can see are my failures and missed opportunities and careless words and –

What if I’m not sorry enough for my sins? What if my repentance isn’t good enough? What if my faith isn’t strong enough?

(Pro 12:25) Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.

Is there a good word? Is there one little Word to fell the prince of darkness grim?

I can’t find rest in my soul. I can’t find rest in empty platitudes. I can’t even discern the thoughts and intentions of my own heart. I think I mean well, but what do I know?

But I know a Word that cannot lie, that cannot mislead, and that cannot deceive, and he says,

(Matt 11:28-30)  28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
  29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
  30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

And so, Lamb of God, I come again. I’m glad you don’t get tired of me. I’m glad for your perfect righteousness and holiness that you gave to me. I’m glad for your resurrection and the new life you give me again and again and again. Refresh me again, O Lamb of God.

I’m glad you lift me in your wings. I’m glad that you told me to come to you in the day of trouble.

And so, Lamb of God, I come to you again. For I’m in trouble. My heart is heavy. My foolishness and ignorance is weighing on me again. I’m tired and hurting. And so I come to you again.

I’m glad that you said, “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” (Jn. 6:37)

Because I am coming again. I am coming because I believe your words. I am coming because you said you wouldn’t cast me out and I cannot bear the thought of being outcast. So here I am. Waiting. Wash me in your precious blood and take my sins away.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

10 Comments

Filed under Gospel, Words

10 responses to “What if…?

  1. janetlynnem

    I am weeping, snot running down my face. This is exactly what I needed to read tonight, Sam. I am caring for a husband with a traumatic brain injury, while dealing with bathroom renovations and a new roof to be put onto our house next week (with all of the accompanying problems that have to be sorted out… procuring a dumpster, moving a shed, etc.). Husband is NOT happy with my drywalling or painting or seemingly anything I am doing (due to the TBI, not his character) and I am overwhelmed. Completely done in. Then I read your words and I realize I can turn to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith, the Saviour in Whom I trust, the Shepherd who leads me beside the still waters, the Powerful One who calm the seas with “Peace, be still.” I needed your words this evening. Thank you, my brother. I am so grateful for you.

  2. Catherine W.

    I feel the painful memories behind each question in this blog and hear the anxieties of someone who has done so much for others and is worn down by it all. Everything you’ve done–your blog, your ministry, your friendship–it’s enough. It’s more than enough. Try not to let that voice in your head tell you otherwise. Once that voice gets started, it’s tough to get it to shut up.

    I sincerely hope that you have the community and support to help you through tough times just as you have provided that to others, more than you know.

  3. Kathryn Annis

    Thank you. Needed to hear this today. I will pray it again and again.

  4. Elizabeth

    Sighhhhhhhhhh. Thank you.

  5. Good post, Sam. None of us are good enough, that’s kind of the whole point. We are not saved by our own efforts, but by His, and He has already calculated in every flaw, every inadequacy.

    “What if opportunity came knocking but I was just too tired, too exhausted, to discouraged and too disappointed to answer?”

    Somebody smart once told me, “you my friend, are simply not powerful enough to thwart God’s plans for you.”

  6. Janice

    Just reread the lyrics to “A mighty fortress is our God”. A friend recently told me that the one little word that shall fell him is LIAR! Not sure if that was what Martin Luther had in mind but it resonated with me and I have shared it with several others who have had similar reactions.” Where not the right Man on our side…” Praise be to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Thank you,Pastor Sam for this precious reminder that it is not the strength of our faith but the object of our faith that saves us! Your honesty is so refreshing.Praying blessings on you and your family

  7. just ... K

    Pastor Powell, what a blessing this post was, thank you!

    I was reminded of a few voices from my past when reading it. One would have read the post and said, “This man has a pride problem. He thinks he can out sin the grace of God!!” another would have said: “No it’s a faith problem!! He isn’t trusting in the promises of God.” a third would have added: “No, it’s a lack of love problem. The issue is that he is too self focused and should be thinking more of others.”

    All those voices belong to the “high priestly class” of people who have become so spiritual that apparently, they no longer struggle with what the rest of us do – they’re like the spiritually disembodied among us.

    I thought of Hebrews 4v15: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” and I thanked God for a pastor who knows my human frame – just like my heavenly High Priest does. I thanked God for a pastor who is willing to admit that he knows his own humanity intimately. And because he knows, I can follow him back to the shepherd that he is imitating and from whom he draws his strength and certainty.

    I thanked God for you.

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