If Only

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. – 1 Timothy 6:6-7

“If only we lived near ski slopes again, then I could be a professional skier,” said my son, presenting a fair argument for packing up and moving back to the cold.

I didn’t want to dash his hopes by being utterly logical; instead, I explained that this is the location where God currently has our family. The best place to be, no matter if it goes against your wishes, is where God puts you. If God wants you to become a professional skier, then that’ll happen no matter what. Our first desire must be to be obedient to God and to where He has placed us.

Because my son’s heart was set on a different scenario, my answer didn’t truly satisfy him. He was looking toward his own dreams of what could happen instead of being satisfied with the current situation. In fact, this is a hard lesson for most to learn.

As Christians, it’s easy to fall into the ‘if only’ trap. These two words, when used as an excuse, have the power to not only render us helpless but also to justify our inactivity. It allows us to wallow in our current situation while doing nothing productive with where God has us. We’ve heard the excuses: if only I lived in Africa, then I could be used by God; if only I could get a record contract, then I could reach millions. The list is endless.

If we truly want to be used by God, then we should have grand plans of God doing miraculous things through us. There is nothing wrong with this perspective. However, we need to be content with where God puts us. Some people have dreams of going to Africa but never make it. Some people aspire to use their gifts to reach millions but end up only touching their closest friends. These don’t have to be failures.

In the end, if everything is done for God’s glory, the location and situation don’t matter. We don’t need to wait to be used by giving the ‘if only’ excuse. We need to be available to God now and not let our own dreams get in the way of true satisfaction.

Dear God, Thank you for creating me with the desires that I have. Though I want to be used by you, help me to surrender my own dreams. Use me, Lord, how You see best and help me to be content.

One Response to If Only
  1. Kimberly
    November 15, 2011 | 2:50 pm

    This is an excellent reminder! We can get so focused on the “if only”s that we discredit the power of right here and right now. Thank you for sharing this! I know I can so easily fall into this trap myself, forgetting that God has good works, IMPORTANT works He wants to do through me right where I am…if only I am willing.

    Blessings to you!