IF ONLY – regrets, excuses, warning

A man had a garden which could have been beautiful, but he had a problem. An immense boulder was deeply embedded. He tried to blast it out but only shattered the windows. He refused to work on the rest of the garden while that eyesore remained, so he continued to use one harsh measure after another to remove it, but all without success. He bitterly bemoaned his lot.

A few
years later he died from worry and frustration, complaining that IF ONLY he had been able to remove that boulder, he could have had the most beautiful garden in the district.

His nephew inherited the house and moved in. He perceived the hopelessness of removing the boulder, so he added a few more smaller rocks and pebbles and converted it into a rockery, with flowers and ferns and a water feature. The eyesore became the centrepiece and the biggest attraction of the magnificent garden.

“IF ONLY…..”
What sad words,
often heard spoken at funerals or after the death of a loved one,

usually expressing REGRET or SELF RECRIMINATION.

“If only I had listened to him, he might still be alive . . .” 
“If only I’d told her I was sorry before she died . . .”
“If only I’d spent more time with her . . .”

Then again, “IF ONLY” is often used an EXCUSE –
So sad … but I’ve heard “If only” as an excuse many times from many people
and I have to admit using it myself.

“If only I could be free of this problem, I could be different!”
“If only I’d had parents who cared, I’d be different today”
“If only I’d had more opportunities . . .”
“If only I had more spare time . . .”
“If only I’d studied harder at school . . .”
“If only I’d married a better man . . .”
“If only I’d invested that lottery win instead of wasting it . . .”

How often do we face our problems with “IF ONLY . . .”

Are you shackled to your “IF ONLY”
Or have you changed an “if only”
to an “IN SPITE OF”
and used it as an OPPORTUNITY?

Some apt sayings:
# Problems can make you soar above – or just plain sore!
# He who is good at making excuses is seldom good at anything else.


The saddest “If only” of all will come when it is TOO LATE!

“IF ONLY I’d listened to my friend when he told me about Christ”

IF ONLY I’d listened to him telling me

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”
[Acts 16:31]

IF ONLY I’d listened to Jesus saying
“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one comes to the Father, except by Me”
[John 14:6]


Hebrews 9:27
“It is appointed unto men to die once,
And after this, the judgement” 

2 Corinthians 6:2
Behold, NOW is the accepted time;
Behold, NOW is the day of salvation.


About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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4 Responses to IF ONLY – regrets, excuses, warning

  1. mtsweat says:

    “If only” is very true good friend. How sad a day it will be when all who rejected His grace see the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I might add one more… “If only” I had seen the urgent need of the gospel, then I would have spent and been spent going and making disciples. Our challenge today will be whether we become like the nephew and build, using the available resources to further the Kingdom. A wonderful piece you’ve contributed good friend. Thanks and God bless.

    • Thank you for bringing out the challenge from the nephew. You are right. There is no excuse. No matter how “hard” we think a person is, our God is able to save “to the uttermost”. We MUST let the light of Christ shine from us and we MUST speak His words of life while there is still time. It is OUR responsibility and we GLADLY accept.

      We serve an amazing God!

  2. ptl2010 says:

    The saddest “If only” of all will come when it is TOO LATE!
    I have seen at non-Christian funeral wakes and funerals, how many loved ones of the dead mourned the death of loved ones who had died without hope of everlasting life and paid so much money by burning effigies of the dead, luxurious cars, houses, the “good things of life” to hopefully pave their loved one’s way to hell. . It is so sad, that many who know that there is a road that leads to everlasting life, yet they stubbornly choose death.

    • Yes, that is the saddest “If only” of all.
      I have been at a number of death beds, but two remain very prominent in my memory. One was a Christian who hadn’t been “with it” for years, but whose face changed completely into a brilliant smile as she went to meet her Saviour – the only smile we had seen for years.

      The other was my stepfather, an unbeliever who died in spiritual torment. I’ll never forget the look of absolute horror on his face, but he refused Christ till the end. That experience with my stepfather gives me incentive to reach others while there is still time.

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