I have heard, and now I know, that two of the saddest words in our English language, when used together, words so small but yet so powerful ~ powerful enough to destroy us are, "if only." As we get older, we have so many "if onlys." If you really want a sad day or night when you can't sleep, just try reliving your past. How many "if onlys" do you have?

For many years, I let those two small words almost destroy me. I could think of nothing but my mistakes in the past. I suddenly realized that I always started my thoughts with, "If only…" and reliving every decision that I had ever made.

My greatest "if only" now is, "If only" I had just realized many years ago that no matter what problems I had, God would take care of them for me. He could turn even the worst problem into a blessing for me. In the midst of my depression, everything seemed to go wrong but, now I know that, as long as I stay close to the Lord, and stay cheerful, everything will be right.

Now, with all my problems, I always come out victorious, because He takes them, but only when I totally surrender them to Him. I was letting my yesterdays, my past, take over my present. God could not get through to me, to tell me the wonderful things He had in store for me. It was then, that I prayed and asked the Lord to please take control of my mind and my thoughts, my life and my future and to please take away my "if onlys" from my thoughts. It was then that He gave me this scripture. Never let yesterday use up too much of today. Do not call to mind the former things of the past. Behold, I will do something new.

I wrote that scripture on a big sheet of paper and put it on the wall by my bed so that I can read it when I start back with those thoughts of yesterday ~ my "If onlys." I have found that we all have a choice; we can look at dark clouds or sunshine.

On day, I looked out my front door to see the blackest skies with blowing clouds and lightening. I walked to the back door and looked in another direction. I was so shocked to see no roaring clouds and no wind ~ just sunshine. I went back to the front door and the black clouds were still there. I realized then that I had a choice. I could look out the front door at the storm or I could look out the back door at sunshine. I chose the sunshine. As I looked at the beauty of the clear skies and sunshine, it was hard for me to believe that over my shoulder a storm was brewing. I said, "Lord, are You trying to teach me a lesson?"

Yes, He was teaching me a valuable lesson, one that I pray that I will never forget. He was telling me that I had a choice. I could think depressing thoughts of my mistakes of yesterday, tragedies of my life, think of people who had hurt me or I could think great poetic thoughts for today and tomorrow. I have the power, God's power, now inside me to control my thoughts. I'm hoping that all of my "if onlys" will disappear forever. Each of us is responsible for making our own paradise. Please take your "if only" yoke from around your neck. I love that plaque on my wall that says, "Let go, let God." How important that is. I'm gradually getting better at doing that. I leave my problems with Him and don't take them back.

Your faith can't just be words; it has to come from every part of your being. Some people repeat the Lord's Prayer. Some people pray the Lord's Prayer. So it is with your faith. Faith has to be strong and real.

It saddens me when I hear people say that some peoples' prayers are more powerful than others. I do not believe that anybody's prayers are more powerful than mine or yours. Maybe they have more faith that their prayers will be answered than you do. Just keep saying, "My prayers are as powerful as anyone's." God wants us to have faith in ourselves. He wants us to Trust Him, to let Him prove to us that He is always near us.

I have shared this with you before but since I always repeat myself, why not now?

1. Believe in yourself and the power you have to control your own life day by day.

2. Believe in the strength that you have deep inside and your faith will help show you the way.

3. Believe in tomorrow and what it will bring.

4. Let a thoughtful heart carry you through. For things will work out if you trust and believe that there is no limit to what you can do!!!

I found that on a plaque. It changed my life and I don't even know who wrote it, but God gave it to me so each word is precious since He gave it to me.

Etheleen Hall©


"Sweet Hour Of Prayer"
Midi Picking by Harry Todd
Sequenced by Harry Todd
Used with Permission