God Never Says “If Only…”

In the winter of 2006, the church I loved (and simultaneously hated) was crumbling around me, my pregnant wife had developed a growing sense of loneliness that would eventually bring us to the brink of divorce, and my porn habit was still safely wrapped in lies. However, if you had asked me, I still would’ve told you I was on my way to doing great things for God and living out the Gospel each day.

Photo by paolobarzman, Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by paolobarzman, Flickr Creative Commons

I didn’t recognize the one thing that was driving all of my pending catastrophes: the selfish desire to focus on the If only’s…

If only my wife’s sex drive had spiked in the second trimester like that book said it would…

If only my pastor would see my potential and hand me the reigns…

If only God would choose me… bless me… anoint my efforts…

If only people would understand that my occasional lust binges were no big deal…

If only I was someone else… somewhere else…

If only sin didn’t have consequences…

I’ve since learned that God never says if only… He never wishes that He had another plan or another Church. He never looks at His beloved like a poorly picked schoolyard team.

No, God chose His children before the world began. He knew us and predestined us for the good works He’s setting before us even now. He doesn’t wish He’d only made you taller, or smarter, or whatever (see Exodus 4:11). God made you a jar of clay on purpose. He wants to put His treasure in you the way you are now.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part 1 in a 2-part series. Be sure to check back next week for the second part: Why I No Longer Chase after “If Only…”


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