This is my Thanksgiving week post from last year. I so easily lose sight of the point in this message and feel it worth revisiting. I’m trusting God’s urging on this and that you need to hear it as well.
Over the past several days, I have had a simple expression repeating itself in my mind and imprinting itself on my heart. “Let go of the what if… and embrace the WHAT IS!”
Simple, yet powerful. Important. We have a tendency to do that, don’t we? A lot! It can be very hard not to. What if things had gone this way instead of that? What if… What if… What if… God is hammering this into my being, because He knew I desperately needed to hear it. Perhaps, some of you need to hear it, as well.
When we spend too much time thinking about the “what ifs” of life, we WILL miss the “What is”. I know there has been many wonderful moments I have missed, or have let go unappreciated because my focus was on “what ifs” aka “what aren’t”. That’s the thing, too… they aren’t reality. Some of you may say, “but you don’t know what my reality is like”. You’d be right, I don’t. What I do know is that everyone has a painful, difficult side to their “What is”, but to not acknowledge and challenge it is as much a travesty as the tragedy of not recognizing the wonderful “What is”.
God opened my heart to this pondering on this past Sunday. I was listening to a sermon, on Facebook of all things. The gentleman’s name was Steven (sorry cannot remember his last). He was preaching about an aspect of the crucifixion I’d never spent much thought on. Who stood at the cross for Jesus?
‘Therefore the soldiers did these things. But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. ‘ John 19:25-27
Jesus had developed a substantial following by this point. He had 11 apostles and a tremendous number of disciples, but where were they? At this point in the gospel of John, we don’t know. We don’t know because Jesus’ focus was on those who were with him, His “What Is” not the what ifs or what aren’t. He was not angry or bitter at their apparent abandonment. He simply focused on “What Is”.
This was a very important thing for me to hear at this point in my life’s journey. Over the past year, and this last month especially, I have spent far too much time dwelling on what and who is not there. So, much so that I could no longer see the John standing for me at the foot of my cross. So caught up in the “What if…” I couldn’t see and appreciate the “WHAT IS”…
So, today, November 27th, 2020, I give Thanks for WHAT IS, my John and Marys, standing for me at the foot of my cross. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving Holiday and a very blessed weekend.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy