"YOU COULD NOT HAVE ENDURED IT"
ON OCTBER 12, 1984, IN AN ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE PRIME MINISTER MARGARET THATCHER AND HER CABINET, the Provisional Irish Republican Army bombed the Grand Brighton Hotel in Brighton, England.
Although due to the structure of the building Mrs. Thatcher was unharmed, five members with ties her party were killed and thirty-one other people were injured. Had she been just two rooms further down, chances are good she would have been killed instantly.
In a sign of strength and resilience, even though this act of terrorism occurred in the middle of the night, she carried on with her next day's schedule. After the following weekend, she gave an interview in which she was asked what had been the worst of the experience for her. Her reply:
I think in church Sunday morning. It was a lovely morning. We have not had many lovely days. And the sun was just coming through the stained glass windows and falling on some flowers right across the church and it just occurred to me that this was the day I was meant not to see, and then all of a sudden, I thought, “There are some of my dearest friends who are not seeing this day!” and had you been able to see the previous Sunday what would happen during the coming week, you could not have endured it, you just could not have endured it. So it is as well we cannot see into the future.
As I came across her words again earlier this week, I was reminded of so many times when I've thought, or others have shared with me, "If only I'd known..."
The essence of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1 - "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen." We go boldly into every day of life finding joy not in our circumstances, but in the reality that no matter what we may encounter at any given point, we are not along for Christ is with us.
"So it is as well we cannot see into the future." I think Mrs. Thatcher is correct also as it is precisely due to our not knowing what is coming that we live focused not on circumstance but on knowing, as John Wesley said on his deathbed, "Best of all, God is with us."
May it be so now and always.
Grace and Peace, Lamar