I was swimming with Elijah this past summer, and he started getting really brave and jumping off the ledge of the pool. To make it safe, I would stand in the pool and catch him.
But then he got really cocky and started jumping before I was looking. There was no danger. I was right there to pick him up, which is why he was doing it in the first place. But still, it was the principle.
So I warned him, “Elijah, you’ve got to stop that. What if you fall in the water and daddy didn’t tell you to jump yet?” He looked straight at me and said, “Well, what if?”
He had me. The truth is I wasn’t going to let him drown, and he knew it. His faith in my love and my ability to save him compelled him to be bold and take a risk. He wasn’t testing my willingness or power to save him. He was jumping because he knew they were already there.
This is the essence of childlike faith. It sets you free to risk, to say well, what if. Even to the point of coming off as cocky in your faith. You’re not testing God or trying to prove His power or love towards you. You’re taking bold steps because His power and love have already been proven.
Peter had well, what if faith.
What if you sink into the water when you try to walk on it? Well, what if? Jesus is there.
Peter’s faith wasn’t that he could walk on water. It was that Jesus could catch him if he fell. And so he became one of two men in history to walk on water. The other was God in the flesh. Not bad company.
Paul had well, what if faith.
What if you’re beaten and tortured for your faith? Well, what if? I consider that my present sufferings aren’t worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in me.
What if they kill you? Well, what if? To die is gain.
What if they let you live and put you in prison? Well, what if? To live is Christ. I’ll convert the guards.
See why he turned the world upside down?
There is always going to be a what if standing in the way of your dream or your desire to radically obey God. Resolve yourself to respond with a well, what if of your own.
What if you’re wrong and you’re not supposed to take that risk for Christ? Well, what if? I think God would rather me take a sincere risk for Him and be wrong than sit safely in the comfort of my own complacency.
What if you fail? Well, what if? As others have said before, I’m much more afraid of succeeding at something that really doesn’t matter.
What if you ruin your life? Well, what if I waste it?
What if…Well, what if?