If only… Things we ask ourselves when we wonder if we had made a different decision or taken another path, would the circumstances in our life be the same? Would we still doubt our position or situation even if something different had happened?
I lot of times I find myself playing the “What if” game. It can really be frustrating because it never lends to a conclusion and there is never a winner. It can rob me of the blessings or teaching moments God had placed in my life.
Years ago I prayed that a guy I was dating was the “one.” I remember being up all night on my knees before God and asking him “if only” questions. I asked God if I had missed the mark and for Him to tell me yes. The next day started with no answer and on and on. Looking back I am so grateful God didn’t grant or answer my “What if.” He brought me someone so much better for my life and because of that I have 3 amazing children and many more years of love to look forward too.
I think one of the reasons we ask ourselves “What if” questions is that we doubt. We doubt God’s hand on our life. We doubt that He looks at us as His children with all of the promise He has for us. We doubt His goodness.
“I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved. In the place where they yelled out, “You’re nobody!” they’re calling you “God’s living children.” Romans 9: 20-33 (msg)
Now I am not saying we haven’t made dumb decisions in our life and should have probably made a wiser choice. What I am saying is the big decisions where we find ourselves wondering… if only…
Maybe we should just let them go.
The grass is not always greener on the other side. A lot of time it’s filled with weeds, dirt and destruction. And guess what, I guarantee that in this fictitious “other side” you would still ask “If only” questions. It really has nothing to do with the situation and everything to do with us.
A lot of times it isn’t that we missed the mark, it’s that we took over. We took over on the decision making of our lives. We looked at making judgement calls before we talked to God. We think to ourselves, “God wants us to be happy and this decision would make me happy, so it must be of Him.” We also dissolution ourselves into thinking He doesn’t care if we go one direction or another. I am not saying that you should pray about what cereal brand you should buy and if you had chosen Frosted Flakes your life would have changed for the better. What I am saying is that we can’t NOT include God in our decision making. If we did that first, we would probably have a whole lot less “What if’s” in our lives.
Romans 9 is filled with great nuggets of wisdom on this very subject. The people where filling their lives with “projects” or decisions that they said God had led them to do. Really they were making choices before they included God and took over the situation themselves.
“All those people who didn’t seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as he straightened out their lives. And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their “God projects” that they didn’t notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into him and went sprawling. Isaiah (again!) gives us the metaphor for pulling this together: Careful! I’ve put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion, a stone you can’t get around. But the stone is me! If you’re looking for me, you’ll find me on the way, not in the way.” Romans 9:22-30 (msg)
God puts roadblocks in our life for a reason. Instead of asking the “What if” questions maybe we should praise Him for His goodness and guidance. Maybe we should thank Him for all the “if only’s” He didn’t answer. Look for Him first before you make a choice, look for Him first in life altering decisions then maybe you won’t wonder “What if” afterwards.