23rd August 2017

What If?

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
Matthew 6:25 (NIV)

In 1891, The New York Times reported a story about the Wild West sharp-shooter, Annie Oakley. She was in Germany on tour, and her most popular stunt was to shoot the ashes from the tip of a lighted cigar clenched between the teeth of a volunteer. At a performance in Berlin that year, the volunteer was the impetuous young Kaiser Wilhelm II, who leaped to the stage and offered to play the stooge. The audience gasped, and Oakley cursed her luck at having been out carousing the night before. The Kaiser coolly plucked a cigar from a gold case, lit it and stuck it in his mouth. Bam! A puff of ashes flew into the air. The Kaiser, who had assumed the throne only a few months earlier, was unscathed. But what if her bullet had been off the mark? Would his successor have pursued the policies that led to World War I?

Some historians delight in ‘what if’ scenarios. The appeal of this type of thinking is that there are no archives to research because it did not happen! Imagination is all that is required.

We can find ourselves asking ‘what if’ concerning our finances, health, relationships, job security, etc. Worry of itself serves no purpose, other than to make us ill. Of course, we must be sensible with our responsibilities, but too often we spend time fretting over imaginary scenarios in our personal life.

Jesus warned us about agonising over possibilities that have not materialised. Going on from the header scripture, verse 27 says, “He asks ‘Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?’” Jesus wants us to prioritise our lives – putting God first. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (verse 34).

The antidote to worry can be found in Proverbs 3:6 (TLB), “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” Worry erodes faith. It is a destructive waste of time—we will be healthier Christians, physically and spiritually, if we put God first and trust him.

Wonderful Father in heaven, thank you for your presence in our lives. May we never forget you are with us every step of the way. Holy Spirit, help us to focus on what is important and have faith in our Creator.

Study by Irene Wilson


About the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Herts. WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone: 01923-855570
Email: george-sue.henderson@tesco.net

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