Tuesday, January 17, 2017

If Only or What If?

Chuckle: Every year, the teacher sent a note home with each child that read, "Dear parents, if you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I'll promise not to believe everything he or she says happens at home."
Quote: "The Christian religion not only was first attended by miracle, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one." --David Hume

He (Elijah) asked her, "Would you please bring me a cup of water?" As she was going to get it, he called to her, "Bring me a bite of bread, too." But she said, "I swear by the LORD your God that I don't have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die" (1 Kings 17:10b-12 NLT).
Isn't it tempting to use the phrase, "if only," when we are dissatisfied with our lot in life and wish things were different. We may say, "if only I had more money; if only I were better educated; if only I had a bigger house; if only I had a better car." The list of "if only's" could stretch on and on, and it doesn't seem to matter what or how much we have, we still are tempted to say "if only. . . ."
Because of a severe drought, the widow in our text was experiencing extremely difficult times. When Elijah asked her for a drink and a piece of bread, her attitude was, "if only I had more flour and oil, I could grant your request." Perhaps she had not considered the possibility of asking the question: "What if" God worked a miracle making my "if only" into His "what if."
Elijah was used of God to teach the widow about the power of God to meet her needs. He told the woman to use her last oil and flour to make a cake for him and then make something for herself and her son. Then he told her: For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: "There will always be plenty of flour and oil left in your containers until the time when the LORD sends rain and the crops grow again" (vs. 14). As God had promised, the widow, her son, and Elijah continued to eat from her supply for many days and there was always enough left in her containers.
The widow learned about God's faithfulness when she trusted Elijah, as a man of God, and obeyed him in a step of faith. Faith is the all-important step between God's promises and His assurances. When our "if only's" and feeble faith take control of our minds, miracles seem totally out of reach. But every miracle, large or small, begins with a first step of faith and an act of obedience. We likely will not see the miracle until we take that first essential step of faith.
If you find yourself speaking or thinking "if only," stop, pray, think, and say, "what if" I trust God completely -- what miracle will He perform in my life?" It is truly miraculous how God can take our "if only's" and make them His "What if's" when we trust Him.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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