I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Great (or Horrible) Question

Novelists often ask “what if?”  It kick-starts brainstorming and stirs creativity at every stage of their writing. It can even lead to the idea for a book.

  • What if the host of a TV cooking show can’t really cook? (Rachel Hauck’s book Dining with Joy)
  • What if a Psychology professor and criminal profiler can solve any crime except for the one she most wants since it touches her family? (Patricia Bradley’s Shadows of the Past)
  • What if the star of a popular syndicated radio show gives advice romance even though she’s never had a date? (Susan May Warren’s My Foolish Heart)
  • What if the bride-to-be in an unguarded moment kisses the groom’s brother? (Beth Vogt’s Wish You Were Here)

Yes, writers love those “what if” questions that pop up in their heads—even if they keep us awake at night.

But recently I had a “what if” question raise it’s ugly head when I least wanted it.

My dearest friend from childhood (I’m talking about the one who’s like a sister), had to undergo a surgery. The day of her operation, I walked about the house cleaning since I could not sit still. Every time I thought about her, I whispered a prayer.

At one point during the day, a thought entered my head so strongly that it was almost like an audible voice. “What if she doesn’t make it?”

Thankfully, as quickly as I thought it, I recognized its source: the devil. Jesus never asked “what if” questions to raise a doubt or a fright. He made verily-I-say-unto-you statements to give assurance. He said, “Truly, truly.” His questions made folks pause and consider, not panic.

(I’m pleased to report that my dear friend is now recovering nicely at home.)

Have you ever had the experience of The Old Deceiver asking you a “what if” question?

Do you have a “what if” idea for a book or did you find one in a book you recently read? Please share!


  1. OK, here's my real-life What If. Don't try this one at home.

    What the internal bleeding doesn't top, and I run out of field-expedient IV supplies? No insurance, therefore no ER visit...DIY medicine at its best, but I'm very well-trained.

    I love a challenge, but this is STUPID.


  2. Wow, that's quite a "what if" question Andrew. My what if...I can't write this next book. I've had this thought for each book I've written and each time God has come through! Great post Teri!

  3. Yes, it's like tuning in to the right radio station we prefer, and dialing away from the static. Thanks, Teri.