TODAY'S FOCUS: Genesis 20:17
Abraham prayed to God.
(Common English Bible)
Over the years, I have found my mind working out what I might do if a potential circumstance arises. This “what if” game can be helpful when facing tough decisions or determining the best course of action. Other times, though, playing out all scenarios in my mind becomes consuming and destructive – especially when the possibilities create an incessant loop. Creating endless problems where none have presented is an unhealthy practice that drives me far from God’s good plan, and the result is disastrous for me and harmful to those around me.
Since I believe God has a good plan for my life, my focus should remain on discovering that path. I never want to be so overwhelmed with the dreadfulness of what might happen that I miss the loveliness of what could happen.
Abraham plays a great game of “what if” with Pharaoh in chapter 12 and repeats the game here with Abimelech in chapter 20. His continuous loop asks: What if they don’t fear God? What if they want my wife? What if they kill me to get her? What if I just lie so I don’t have to deal with it all? Oh no, not this again. The result, in both cases, is harmful to others, yet God’s response is fascinating to me. I can hear God saying: “All will be well when you go back to the point when things were working, Abraham will pray for you, and you will live.”
Abraham will pray for you? Where did that come from? “Go back and make it right” has just become the easy part. When God directs Abraham to pray for Abimelech and his people, the people Abraham himself harmed with his own lie, I’m humbled. Now, I’m faced with praying for those I’ve hurt, and that is a huge responsibility. To be sure, it’s a responsibility that creates an exciting freedom to grow closer to Jesus, but it’s not always going to be the easy part. May God provide me with wisdom, courage, patience and integrity to make good decisions and stay away from “what ifs.” As John Wesley taught me, may I do good, do no harm, and stay in love with God.
Healing God, move my heart, my thinking, and even my unintentional actions to better places. When I create scenarios that harm myself and others, I pray your touch will restore us all to wholeness. Amen.
More to think about:
2 Corinthians 10:3-5