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If Only…..

“If only I had taken that job.”  “If only I had not quit college”.  “If only I had gone to the doctor sooner.”  How many different ways do we hear people consider the question, “If only…?”  When that is being asked, it is very clear that the individual realizes that they missed a great window of opportunity by not doing what it is that they are bemoaning.  Because every decision either works for our good or moves us away from our goals, what may seem insignificant at the time can have life-changing consequences. 

David Bloom, a Today show co-host on weekends some years ago, died on April 6, 2003, while covering Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ironically, Bloom did not die from injuries sustained in conflict, but rather of a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary emboli occur among those who sit for long periods of time, and Bloom spent most of his time in a cramped Army vehicle.

When Bloom began experiencing pain, he consulted several doctors. Frederik Balfour, a reporter with Business Week online wrote:  “He consulted military doctors and described his symptoms over the phone to overseas physicians. They suspected DVT, or deep venous thrombosis, and advised him to seek proper medical attention. He ignored their advice, swallowed some aspirins, and kept on working. On Sunday he died of a pulmonary embolism.”

Bloom took several precautions to avoid becoming a casualty of war, but ignored the warnings of doctors who insisted that his life was in danger from a treatable condition. Bloom left behind a wife and three young daughters. How sad it is. It leaves us saying, “if only.” If only he had listened. If only he had believed his doctors and took precautions tragedy would have been adverted.  (Copied).

There is a significant Bible character that will spend all eternity thinking, “If only.”  He was one of the disciples of Jesus.  He came from Judea which was the place of academia, religious training, and culture in the land of Israel. He had been given the office of treasurer in the band of disciples.  He was the only disciple to never call Jesus, “Lord”….he always called Him, “Rabbi” or “Teacher”.  He was privileged to get to hear every sermon, witness every miracle, be present at every prayer time, and make every trip on “land and sea” with Jesus.  He was in the place of honor at the Lord’s Supper which meant that he would share the meal in close proximity with Jesus by dipping his bread in the dish of Jesus.

But, this man is the one that plotted to hand Jesus over to the Jews.  He struck a financial deal with the High Priest to get paid 30 pieces of silver (the price of a common slave) if he could peacefully deliver Jesus to the Jewish leaders to be arrested.  He agreed to do so in a place of holiness, a place frequented by Jesus, and a place of prayer…the Garden of Gethsemane.  It was there that Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus with a kiss.  It was the last deed done by the disciple in the presence of his peers.  In the next little while, he would return the money to the Jewish priests and go out to hang himself in regret.  From that moment till this, he has often repeated in the corridors of Hell, “If only…..”   Please make sure you know Jesus Christ and serve Him faithfully.  Don’t spend your “forever” in deep regret, separated from God, and repeating over and over, “If only…..I had repented and trusted Jesus.”