I had this crazy thought the other night. I wondered what God thinks about. This could probably get me in a lot of trouble, but might he say, “If they only knew…if they only knew what could have been.” Does He spend any time thinking about this?
How many times could God have used that line? It is hard not to first think of the first “us”, the first humans in the Garden of Eden. When God created Adam and Eve:
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and master it. Take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, and everything crawling on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I now give to you all the plants on the earth that yield seeds and all the trees whose fruit produces its seeds within it. These will be your food. 30 To all wildlife, to all the birds in the sky, and to everything crawling on the ground—to everything that breathes—I give all the green grasses for food.” And that’s what happened. 31 God saw everything he had made: it was supremely good. (Genesis 1)
What could they conceivably have missed when God calls something “supremely good”?
Another example is when God freed the people out of Egypt and led them to the Promised Land. Here the people knew what it was like when they were slaves in Egypt, and yet they wanted to go back. God promised them something infinitely better than what they had as slaves in Egypt, but they could not see it.
The entire community raised their voice and the people wept that night. 2 All the Israelites criticized Moses and Aaron. The entire community said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt or if only we had died in this desert! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our children will be taken by force. Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to each other, “Let’s pick a leader and let’s go back to Egypt.” (Numbers 14)
The Israelites did not believe God would give them the land. They did not trust Him, the One who just delivered them, to deliver them once more.
You could go through the Bible and pick other examples of times where people did not see it.
I tend to think that God asks still this day, “Don’t they know what is? Don’t they know what can be?” Hear “what is”; hear who we are in Christ:
3 Bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing that comes from heaven. 4 God chose us in Christ to be holy and blameless in God’s presence before the creation of the world. 5 God destined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ because of his love. This was according to his goodwill and plan 6 and to honor his glorious grace that he has given to us freely through the Son whom he loves. 7 We have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and we have forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace, 8 which he poured over us with wisdom and understanding. (Ephesians 1)
Yes, through Christ we are, I think we can say, “supremely good.” We have everything we need. We are blessed. We are made perfect, holy and blameless.
What can be? Jesus teaches us to pray including these words, “Bring in your kingdom so that your will is done on earth as it’s done in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
As we trust God and in who we are in Christ, we are able to love. We are able to love and live in such a way that God’s kingdom is here. Today, we walk in God’s kingdom when we choose to love one another. Today, we walk in God’s kingdom when we see ourselves as holy and righteous. Today, we walk in God’s kingdom as we give. Today, we walk in God’s kingdom as we care for those in need. Today, we walk in God’s kingdom as we sit with those who mourn. Today, we walk in God’s kingdom as we invite others to follow Jesus too. Today, we walk in God’s kingdom as we try to see the world through another person’s eyes.
This is “what is”, and it also gives way to a great “what can be”.
(All scripture cited above from Common English Bible Copyright © 2011)