March 24, 2014

Categories: Graceful Foundations

If Only

Psalm 81

Two of the biggest and most powerful words in the English language are at the center of our conversation today. Those two words are: if only! Have you ever spoken those words? They often come as an expression of regret or disappointment. If only… I had more money, was taller, had stronger relationships, had not made that decision, knew the right people at the right time, or had the opportunity to do it all over again! If only… Those are powerful words that often anchor our lives in the past!

In Psalm 81 we find another opening invitation to sing, make music, and sound the horn to remember the activity of God in our lives. It sounds like a celebration! But by the time we get to verse eleven we discover a change of pace. We move from sing and shout to … if only.

God says, if only my people had listened. If only they had followed faithfully. If only they had trusted my divine voice. It is a word of disappointment that flows from the heart of God. The disappointment comes complete with a prize package that is offered as an extension of the regret. If the people had been willing to follow obediently they would receive the finest food and honey from a satisfying (but mysterious) rock!

I wonder what blessings I have missed by being focused on the ‘if only’ experiences of life rather than on the blessings that are intended to flow. How about you, are you anchored to the past or are you sitting at the table with the finest food and the freshest honey?

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