A week or two ago my pastor talked about Hope, Joy and Thankfulness. As I prayed over the topic I recalled a simple obstacle to these three great tools to live life. It is at once a great obstacle but also a great tool that helps me LIVE now, and not just survive.
I call them “The Only’s.”
They sound something like this. “If only i could get that new job…” or “If only i could keep the house clean…” “If only I could get an extra hour of sleep at night…” then life would be better. The Only’s do two things. The first is they take away our hope in Christ because all of a sudden we are hoping for something on this earth and turn it into an idol. Our actions stop proclaiming “Come Lord Jesus” and start begging “Come new Job!” I know because I’ve been there. And let me tell you that as long as I’m waiting for something on this earth to happen and make me happy, then I will not be. And I seriously doubt anyone reading this will be either. I mean, you know what scripture says about idols right?
Those who pour out their bags of gold and weigh out silver on scales- they hire a goldsmith and he makes it into a god. Then they kneel and bow down to it. They lift it to their shoulder and bear it along; they set it in its place, and there it stands; it does not budge from its place. They cry out to it but it doesn’t answer; it saves no one from his trouble. (Isaiah 46:6-7 HCSB)
If you think about it, if you wait for your “If Only’s” to make you happy, you’re going to be waiting a long time. “[they do] not budge from [their] place…[they] save no one from his trouble.”
The great thing about the “If Only’s” though, is that you can’t miss them. This is not a hidden sin or something you can deny to yourself. An addict can deny his or her addiction, and we can shrug off sin as “unimportant” or “harmless” but this one stares us right in the face and we KNOW we’re miserable. there is no way to deny this fact which means that it is that much easier to confront. It is that much easier to take it apart and say “No, not then. I’m not going to wait for the day when XYZ falls into place for TODAY is the day the LORD has made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it.” (cf Ps118)
So what are you waiting for? Rejoice. Today is the day the Lord has made for you. Not tomorrow. Today.
And tomorrow you can say “today is the day the lord has made for me.”
And the day after.
And the day after.