If only. Ever said those two little words? Man, what I’d give to change or rearrange a few things in the past. Would the outcome be different? Martha believed so…
“Now Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” (John 11:21-22)
I don’t know about you, but I get stuck in “if only” mode sometimes. Instead of being faith-filled, I find every reason to blame myself, or worse, God. If only I was smarter. If only I was more qualified. If only the perfect opportunity would present itself. If only I lived somewhere else. If only I had more money. If only…[you fill in the blank.]
The beauty of Martha’s “if only” statement is that she didn’t settle there. She took her cares to Jesus, for “as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, [she] went and met Him…” (v. 20)
“If only” statements are wimpy if they end there. How about we try something new? Together.
“But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” (v. 22)
Let’s replace our “if only’s” with “even now’s.” If only I was smarter. Even now God can teach me. If only I was more qualified. Even now Jesus qualifies me. If only the perfect opportunity would present itself. Even now I stand on God’s opportune timetable. If only I lived somewhere else. Even now I can be thankful for a roof over my head. If only I had more money. Even now the Lord provides. If only…[what was your blank?] Even now…[how can/does God work?]
“If only” statements shouldn’t chain us to our past, but free us for our future. We are not victims. We are victors. We are not defined by our circumstances, no matter how hopeless they seem. We find reasons to trust our Savior more deeply when we realize how much we need Him.
Jesus is the exception. He defies the odds. He gives us the faith to pray- “Even now…” Even when her brother was in the grave four days, even then she believed Jesus could do something about it. And…
“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.'” (v. 23)