It has not happened yet. But my mind pictures it, the bad thing that may happen. I experience some of it as if it is already happening.
“What if ...”
It lingers in my mind. It weighs on me. It may be gone for some time but it returns. The two little words bundle up my fear, they put wheels under my fear. It's amazing how restlessly active my mind can be.
“What if I lose my job ...?”
“What if the cancer returns ...?”
“What if my marriage fails ...?”
“What if the rains won't come ...?”
“What if I cannot make the payments ...?”
“What if the children ...?”
“What if …?”
Jacob would have known this fear when he had to meet Esau. Joseph must have asked, “What if …” when he was carried off to Egypt. David would wondered this when he was pursued by Saul's militia. Jesus' parents must have asked, “What if…” when they traveled to Bethlehem. Peter would have known this fear when he skulked near the fire of Caiaphas' court. Paul, when crying his heart out to Timothy, "...everyone has deserted me."
This question appears deep within my inner being, my little world inside, who would know it? But Jesus has his eye on that part of me. He said, “Let not you heart be troubled... trust in God, trust also in me.” (John 14:1). That place in my heart where the “what ifs” still echo can be the scene where prayers spread their reassurance. “My heart, the alter, and thy love the flame.”