What if…

by DanWolgemuth on April 15, 2022

Over the years as Mary and I reflect on another anniversary, we are drawn to a question that illuminates gratitude and humility in our souls. It’s not an easy question, but worthwhile.

It started with something like… “What would my life be like today if I had not married you?” 

This question fuels the engine of speculation, but it also propels our heart toward thanksgiving, accountability, and stewardship.

At first this led us down the pathway toward terminated high school romances. But quickly these times of reflection took us more deeply into our life together. Moves made. Accidents survived. Hurt healed. Wounds that still ache.

Following Christ is not a demand for precision, but an invitation to faithfulness and trust. It is a welcome mat to God’s providence, grace, compassion, and unconditional love.

Were Mary and I threading a needle when we made the decision to move from Fort Wayne to Nashville in 1987? And again, from Nashville to Elkhart, Indiana in 1991? Had we missed the eye of the needle when we came to realize that our short time in Elkhart didn’t work like we thought or planned or had been promised? Had we misunderstood or ignored God’s voice?

In so many beautiful and liberating ways, Holy Week, and the facts of Good Friday and Easter Sunday are the singular guiding principles that illuminate a pathway forward. They provide the ultimate answer to the “what if” questions. Not in a way that makes every step perilous, but liberating.

How I respond to the historic reality of the cross and the resurrection is THE question. That answer informs and prioritizes every other decision I make. I am no longer constrained to obey, I am unleashed to obey. Liberated by the love and sacrifice of Christ.

The significance of Christ’s sacrificial death, and His victorious resurrection changes everything. The Apostle Paul put it this way…

“If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20, MSG)

The truth is… Christ has been raised. And this reality changes every other “what if” question in our lives.

My walk with Christ is not a journey on a high wire, but on a mountain trail. I am not doomed by one false step, I am invited into an adventure… with a guide, a friend, a companion, a mission, a purpose, and a matchless sense of awe.

That is what creates a heart of joy, not fear. Of hope, not paralysis. Of freedom, not condemnation.

Jesus said… “I am the resurrection and the life.” From that point on, nothing was ever the same.

Easter. The ultimate answer to the “what if’s” of life.

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