About 4PM on an idle Tuesday God gave me a gift that I’d been praying for.
As I looked, I was granted a precious revelation — there weren’t other things I needed at all. I wanted them. I did not need them. I already had everything I needed.
He said, “You can say this: ‘I have what I have’.” A commentary on that might go like this: all of that, I have given you, and nobody and nothing can take these from you. So, rejoice, be glad, in the little you have that is much for you.
I imagined what I had — that I could see: this son, these daughters, this house, this wife; this life. Any of those can be taken from me, some to death, other things to financial misfortune, but there are things within these things that cannot ever be taken away. They always were, so they always are. Nothing we lose is truly lost. We retain it, certainly within our memory — which gives credence to the quote, “Don’t be sad it’s over, be thankful it happened.”
Here are twelve things you can count on to be yours forever:
1. Your memories as they’re etched into history. You could suffer dementia, but nothing changes the good you’ve done, and eternity may well reward us in cherished reflections over even the things we’d forgotten.
2. Your body; what a magnificent instrument of creation, no matter what you look or feel like. No matter your body image, your body is yours. Till death you part. It’s a living, breathing miracle, your body.
3. Your soul remains yours during the whole of your life, and you, alone — with God’s help, hopefully — are its curator.
4. Your plans, even the ones that end up dashed, are yours. Your plans encase your dreams and they’re as important to God as they are to you. We arrive at maturity the moment we can hold in tension the wonder in a dream we have with the matching plan that’s been dashed. Maturity is philospophy.
5. Your mind and heart, they’re yours. You may ‘lose’ your mind, or, for a season, you may lose heart, but they’re still yours, no matter their condition.
6. What you see is yours. Even the things that aren’t actually yours are yours. You see them, therefore you can enjoy sight of them. Even if you were to turn blind, you’d still have the power of perception.
7. Another thing God told me: “There are some things anyone can take from you, but there are equally things nobody can take from you — look, explore, find, and enjoy, in their entirety!”
8. The present moment can be taken from no man, no boy, no girl, no woman. Be mindfully present and God will give you glimpses of His eternity.
9. The thought that you can choose, which identifies that choice is yours. The choice is yours! It’s all yours.
10. Your dignity cannot be taken from you, even in the most despicable of undignifying situations. It would only be your choice to feel undignified. (Having said that, there are many experiences of life that are genuinely humiliating, though there is recourse for healing every human indignity through the ministry of the God of our souls, the Lord Jesus’ Spirit.)
11. God is yours as much as anyone’s, over the face of all humanity and history. You’ve no less important than anyone else.
12. Your patch of heaven if you’ve agreed that Jesus is your Saviour and Lord.
Twelve more things that can’t be taken from you: your smile, your tears, your investment, your role in another person’s life, their role in yours, the music and movies you like, the sensations you enjoy, the grace of God, your time on earth, the blessing of communication, your ability to let go, and your capacity to learn and grow.
Contentment rests in knowing God has provided our needs so we need know nothing else but the rest in His contentment.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.