Life’s “If Only’s” and Other Regrets

We have all been there haven’t we? “If only I had done this instead of that.” “If only I had known then what I know now.” Second guessing ourselves, we have regrets.

I can remember a friend telling me one time that her grandfather was asked if he wanted to invest in a certain product that had just been invented. He politely declined, only to find out later that the product turned out to be Coca Cola! Talk about regrets! I imagine he spent many a moment kicking himself over that decision!

Sometimes the regrets are not necessarily because we unknowingly made a bad decision (how could one know a soda pop would become a winner investment?) but because we knowingly made a decision based on our own shortcomings.

Today I read about God appearing to Moses in the burning bush and telling him that he was going to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.  Moses, feeling terribly inadequate for the job declares that he is not eloquent of speech and questions his ability.

What Moses underestimates is God’s ability to work in and through him, despite himself!

The funny thing about God is that He gets His will accomplished whether we cooperate or not! He had heard the cries of the Jews and He was going to deliver them with or without Moses!

God tells Moses to find his brother Aaron and Aaron will become the spokesperson .

However, we all know what regretful behavior that occurred when Aaron was left in charge after Moses went up the mountain.

With the eloquent speaker came a flaw in leadership that put Moses in a real bind when he came back down!

What if Moses had just responded to God in faith and obedience with a resounding, “yes, I’ll do it!”

Maybe there was a reason that God had told Moses to speak on His behalf?

I wonder if Moses regretted caving in to fear and doubt?

Here is the neat thing about God and the “if I only’s”. He is bigger than those three words. He is bigger than the regrets.

Did God still lead the people out of Egypt despite their rebellion?


Did God do it despite Moses being too fearful to be God’s spokesperson?


The bottom line is that although there are consequences based on our bad decisions, God is not thwarted in His will and His purposes by any actions of ours.

He gets the job done.

My friends grandfather missed his opportunity to invest in Coca Cola, but he didn’t end up destitute.

Moses was too full of doubt to trust that God could speak through him, but he still was used to lead the people out of Egypt.

Romans 8:28 tells us that “all things work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Could those “all things” even include regretful decisions? I think so!

Philippians 1:6 “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” Is God able to finish the good work He started in us, despite our inadequacies? I think so!

Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans His way, but the Lord establishes His steps.”Is God able to establishes our steps despite the plans we make? I think so!

The regrets and “if only’s” are a dead end street. We can do nothing more than learn from them and move forward with gained wisdom knowing that He will accomplish His will despite us.!

My only regret is that I didn’t learn this lesson years ago. But hey, we aren’t going back there anymore!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s