I’m sure we’ve all had a case of the “if only’s” from time to time.
- If only I had more money
- If only my house was clean
- If only I had more time
- If only my home was bigger
- If only I had a nicer yard
- If only I had more sleep
- If only I was thinner
The list can go on and on!
Have you noticed though that when one “if only” comes to fruition, there’s a whole new list of “if only’s?” For example, if someone drops a bunch of weight, their “if only” changes from being thinner to wanting to tone up. If someone starts making more money or pays off some debt, their definition of how much money they want changes. And a clean house becomes a home that’s ready for redecorating!
Recently, nearly all of my personal “if only’s” happened in quick succession. I hired someone to take over my position at my husband’s business, I published my second eBook, I finished decluttering my house, we wrapped up our fourth year of homeschooling (summer break!!), I dropped the five pounds I’d gained, and as a bonus I was given bags full of great hand-me-down clothes in my size! I’d waited and waited for my Sunday to come, and it was finally here!
I should have been thrilled beyond measure at my blessings. And I was, for a few weeks. Then the “if-only’s” started creeping back in and I felt just as stressed as ever.
As I reflected on the why of my “if-only” problem, the following passage written by the apostle Paul kept coming to mind:
“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Philippians 4:11-12
God knows that if we can’t be content with what we have, then we’ll never be content regardless of how much we have.
No amount of possessions or blessings can cultivate a thankful and content spirit – that has to be a choice we make from within.
Yes, we should take care of our possessions as we learn to be good stewards of our time and resources, which ultimately belong to God (Deuteronomy 10:14), but we should also be content with what we have to work with.
If we have a roof over our heads, clothes to wear, and food to eat then we’re richer than the majority of the world. Anything more than that is just icing on the cake!
Let’s choose contentment each day as we learn to appreciate the blessings that are right in front of us.