T-Rex pondered the questions of the universe as we drove home late one night.
“Mama, why is the sky blue during the day and black at night?”
“Well, buddy, what is missing at night that we have during the day?”
“Ok..so…why is the sky black now?”
I looked out the window as we sped down the highway. Trees stood tall and dark in the distance. Grass zipped by the side of the car.
“T-Rex, what color do the trees and grass look right now?”
He turned his head to look out the window. “Black.”
“What color do they look when the sun is out?”
“Green and brown.”
“So, did they turn black, or are they still green and brown?”
“They’re still green and brown.”
“Right. The sun reveals what color they really are.”
When life’s circumstances leave us in the dark of the unknown, we can easily forget the true colors of all that surrounds us. We’ve only recently brushed back the clouds of cancer. I have a number of friends right now entering the holidays with great unknowns threatening to eclipse their joy and peace.
Whether it’s medical tests with frightening possibilities, financial disasters, long-term unemployment, or relationship heartaches, “What if?” is a dark and tempting land to dwell in.
Here’s the greatest lesson I’ve learned in the land of the unknown:
When overwhelmed by “what if,” give thanks for what is.
As someone who battled anxiety her whole life, this lesson has turned my life around.
“What if” will always be with us. We can never know the future. We can never guarantee that everything will be ok. But we can choose to focus our attitude and gratitude on what is still good, true, pure and lovely.
I focus my mind and heart on two areas:
What is good and true about the current situation?
Instead of focusing on what might happen in the situation, I focus on what is true about the people and situation.
What can the current dilemma not take away from you?
“What if” can cause us to overreact and imagine the circumstance’s reach to be greater than it really is. Giving thanks for “what is” reminds us what is still solid and true even if the worst does happen.
What is good and true about God?
In a sea of ever-changing life circumstances, we can stand on the rock that never moves. We have a firm foundation to stand on during turbulent times.
He promises to never leave us or forsake us.
He’s preparing a place for those who love him.
These troubles are momentary, but eternity is forever with him.
We have a hope and a future.
Whatever you are facing this week, dear friend, may you know the hope of “what is” and be filled with peace while waiting in the dark.
What is good and true about your current unknown situations? What has the darkness overshadowed and caused you to forget or doubt about the people involved or the reality of the situation or about God?