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If Only

Gleaming diamonds on dark velvet

If only we had our own house. The refrain repeated itself over and over. After fifteen years of renting, I wanted our own home. I allowed my mind to create big doses of discontentment and somehow believed my life would be perfect, if only . . . .

“If only . . .” If only I were (whatever). If only (such and such) were different. If only I didn’t have (this). If only.

Sixteen years into our marriage we finally bought our first home. It was exciting. But home ownership didn’t make my life perfect.

My mind naturally gravitates to complaints and comparison, resulting in discontentment. Maybe if I were a naturally optimistic person, I could control my thoughts. But I know I need help. I need God’s Word to saturate my mind with truth, to mull over scripture during my waking hours. Contentment is a precious jewel, mined from perspective—the perspective of God’s Word.

A few months ago I intentionally began meditating (reflecting) more on scripture. In the past, I had primarily concentrated on God’s Word at night as I went to sleep. Recently I decided to meditate as much as possible as I went about my day. In the process, something wonderful happened. Contentment and gratitude started growing.

Yes, the ‘if onlys’ try to worm their way into my thoughts, but now I know the anecdote. Focusing on scripture reminds me of the value of the unseen and the shallowness of the seen. Thoughts centered on scripture always glow with the jewel of contentment.

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