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This Far, Thus Far
5/14/2014 3:45:31 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

I was recently talking with an old buddy who I hadn’t seen in a long while. It was good to have seen him because he’s what you’d call “good people,” if you know what I mean.

A lot has occurred in both of our lives since we last spoke with one another which has been about five years as best as I can recall. We both sort of brought each other up to date as of now with was happening in our lives.

His update included him telling me that he’d been through some very rough and dark times, including losing a dear family member. He seemed to be stuck on that occurrence, and he’s also appeared to be in a depressed mode as he tried to recount his loss of his relative’s passing, plus something else.

I felt for him because, even though I didn’t know his family member personally, I do know what it is like to be close to some particular folk in my life who died and to miss them something terribly. Death has a way of making the real and ever-present fragile moments in life take on piercing and delicate reflections.

My long time-no-see friend and I both retreated to a nearby bench for a few more moments to discuss and share how good it was to see each other. Again, as I listened, I could detect that my friend was troubled about something else.

As I listened intently, he related to me that his health had taken a turn for the worse and that he’d been diagnosed with a serious bout of prostate disease which had turned cancerous. The conversation turned serious and took on a different light as well you can image.

Being a brother of color and knowing that untreated and undiagnosed diseases like prostate problems can lead to some serious health predicaments if left untreated, especially for Black men. Listen closely.

I related to my buddy that everything was in God Alone’s control and that He (Alone) had his back during his time of dismay and despair. Sensing that I was probably going to “come” at him like that, my friend said that he was so glad to see me after all, because he needed “someone” who he could trust to talk to.

With emerging tears in his eyes and obviously with indescribale pain in his heart, this handsome, but gracefully aging, “brotha” said to me be that he was worried about his life, health and uncertain future. He was in a state of mental flux as he tried to hold himself together and unnecessarily apologizing to me for his emotional breakdown and tears.

I reached out to my “brotha, gave him a hug,” and I told him that God Alone loves him and his test with his health was all a part of the Most High Alone’s master plan in testing and challenging his faith. I told him that his life to date was a wondrous life, complete with all the ups and downs that he’s been through—no matter what they were, are and have been.

In that instance, something in me allowed me to reach back to something that my mother told in the ’60s about hanging in there when God puts something on your plate that you think that you can’t handle or dislike. She said, “ Son, I want to tell you about handling those thorny arenas in life by putting a dash of “Thus Far, Thus Far,” on it.

If you’ve read me over the years, you know the respect that I have for my mother’s and other older “sistas” of color’s wisdom. From all the ebony mommas to the “colored” grand mommas, the wisdom of these ladies is legendary. Believe me, they are something else.

Mom told back then me that when the trials of life are upon you, you must always remember that it was God Alone, Who brought you “This Far, Thus Far,” so remain strong with positive spiritual conviction knowing that everything is going to be alright.

She said that you’ve come “this far” by God’s grace and “thus far” you’re still breathing, so keep the faith and don’t let the devil get the best of your thoughts in distracting you from God’s remembrances by letting doubt creep into your mind and heart. I related that to my friend as he was trying to gather his composure.

My mother was always a person who lived in “the spiritual now,” and she never lived in the fickle past. She said she got that from her mother who taught her the value of the “This Far, Thus Far” methodology.

As I talked about Mom’s wisdom, I do know that my buddy said that realized that he’s come “this far,” as my mother’s phrase was indicating—so he mustn’t forget that he come “thus far” by God Alone’s permission. Mom said, “True believers in God couldn’t have come ‘this far’ without knowing that God Alone has your back covered ‘thus far.’ ”

That’s some real potent stuff to “vibe” on, and no one in creation will not be allowed to escape pressing tests and challenging moments in life. If you understand that “thus far” you know that you didn’t get “this far” by luck or random activity. Think spiritually.

No, no way, these ordeals that we’re experiencing in the here and now—“thus far” are not isolated lapses of buffoonery. “We got here “this far” because God Alone is in control of the here and now and, if we keep that in mind, everything is going to be okay.

That’s what my mother told me, and that’s what I related to my buddy. I also said to him that the Most High Alone knows the most intricate tests that we all face, and He Alone also knows the loneliest moments that we face in the darkest corners of our minds.

I know my buddy was and is going through something with his health challenges, but I want him (and you) to know that he’s come “This Far, Thus Far” by God Alone’s grace and mercy.

So, with that knowledge, continue to maintain the faith in the One Alone Who knows the outcome of everything. And that includes the health conditions surrounding my friend’s illness. Have faith and make it work wonders for you. It has “thus far,” if you’re still spiritually standing strong.

None of us, including you, me, and my friend, should never forget what my mother’s divine symbolism was all about. There’s much depth in remembering what “This Far, Thus Far” really, really translates to our challenged souls and bewildering mind-sets from time to time-to-time if we apply its meaning to daily trials.

We all have come “this far” by God Alone’s permission, so don’t forget that our present fortunes “thus far” are known only to Him Alone. Have faith. Live in the positive realm of where God Alone wants us to be. We’ve arrived here “thus far,” no matter what our lots in life may hand us. Always keep the faith.

With that in mind, let your faith in the Creator Alone be firm because He Alone can take of all our wishes and desires. He has “thus far.”

For today and always, that’s “As I See It.”

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