So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
Whenever I read this passage from John’s Gospel in the past, I concentrated on the words Son, set, or free. But today, God pointed out the word if. It doesn’t say when Jesus sets me free, but if.
Life can be full of ifs, can’t it? Many people if their lives away in day dreams. But they usually add a word to it –only.
If only I was smarter . . ., if only I had more money . . ., if only my father had not abandoned us . . ., if only my mother had told me . . ., if only I had not made that choice. . . if only, if only.
When we ruminate on the if only, it puts things in the category of wishing. We can become stagnated by the past so much we fail to see the if’s in the future that are yet to be. It gives us an excuse to not change, to not move forward. It imprisons us in a box of hurt, failure and blame. We feel powerless. When you couple if with only you shackle yourself. All you can see is your chains.
We cannot change the past, but God can heal it. He is the only only we need – The One and Only who created the world and took on our sins. Give Him your onlys and let Him be in charge of the ifs – i.e. the things to come. Once we do that, we rely on His love to unshackle us and be the balm to heal our past hurts. We give Him permission to free us and put our lives in the right order. Then if only becomes only if.
Only if Jesus heals you, will you be healed. Only if you allow Him into your life will it be enriched by God’s grace and wisdom. Only if you give Him the control, will you steer clear of temptations when trials come your way. Only if you receive as your Savior will you be granted eternal life in Heaven.
Two words – only and if. But, it is the order we put them in makes all the difference – the difference between being trapped and being truly free.