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From “I wish” to “Thank you, God”
We often utter the words “I wish” for things we know can’t happen—sometimes with a glimmer of hope that our wish could possibly come true. If our wish does come true, then we may say, “Thank you, God.” But if it doesn’t, which is often the case, then we feel disappointed, discouraged, even hopeless.
But what if we were to start with “Thank you, God,” as Christ Jesus often did? He thanked God when his friend Lazarus lay dead in a tomb. He gave thanks when four thousand people needed food and there were only a few loaves and fish available. Jesus didn’t just wish things were different. He didn’t say, “I wish I had been here so Lazarus wouldn’t have died,” or “I wish there were a market close by so we could buy food for all these people.” No. He thanked God that life was present for Lazarus because God was the present and eternal Life of Lazarus. Then, following Jesus’ command “come forth,” Lazarus walked out of the tomb (see John 11:1–44). Jesus recognized that God meets human needs by giving us the spiritual ideas that make up our true substance as God’s compound spiritual expression. So, he thanked God for the spiritual provision the loaves and fish represented, and the people were fed—and there were even leftovers (see Mark 8:1–9).
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