Two tiny words that make us question the things that we are doing.
“If only I hadn’t bought those clothes, I’d have money to make the needed car repair.”
“If only I could grow a little taller, I’d be such a better athlete.”
We use these words to not only bring into question our lives, but how others impact us.
“If only my boss was nicer, my job would be so much easier.”
“If only everyone else could drive better, the freeways would be more pleasant.”
Sometimes, we apply this same mindset to God.
If only God would change this circumstance, I would trust Him more.
If only He would give me what I want, then I would serve Him.
The problem with our “if only’s” is that they are usually focused on the here and now, when Scripture demonstrates that our focus should be increasingly on the then and there. In other words, we are concerned with the momentary trials and inconveniences, when we should be concerned with what is at stake for eternity.
Paul had this mindset. His concerned wasn’t that God would save him from all of life’s difficulties, but that he would glorify God within them. As he said in Acts 20:24:
“But do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” [emphasis added.]
His concerned wasn’t with what this life did to him, but how he used this life to do what God had called him to do.
If only our mindset was the same.