From the Pastor’s Pen:
“Blessed...” (Matthew 6:34)
“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
In the Screwtape Letters, Screwtape counsels his young, demonic nephew, saying: “In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time?-? for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays. Hence nearly all vices are rooted in the future.”
Anxiety lives in the future, and he only visits when we invite him into the present. Yet he is not a guest that brings light and joy to an occasion; instead, like a dripping faucet, he wearies us with insistent nagging and constant complaining. What we find is that anxiety is often the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
As a pastor, I can assure you that many struggle more with the fear of death than dying itself. They pass away peacefully after many long battles with a Christian’s three biggest bullies - Woulda, Shoulda, and Coulda. Do you know these three friends?
My dear friends, I am no stranger to the rain. We all wish for our “best life now,” to sail to heaven on a cloud of ease. It is simply not so. Can Jesus speak any more clearly? “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Each and every one of our days will have trouble, and the sorrow is typically a secret. We have all shed tears - tears over toils and troubles, tears over pain and loss, tears over regrets and repentance, tears of which only God Himself has seen. And He has promised to be with us today. Today.
As Jesus said earlier, the grass is here today, but gone tomorrow. We don’t know what tomorrow holds, nor can we. I believe part of the reason that God forbids peering into the future is for our own sanity, for we cannot handle it. If God showed us in a moment all the troubles our lives would bring, we would pass each day in despair. Am I right?
How many of us spend our days watching mainstream media, worried about what tomorrow will bring? We never look into tomorrow and see God’s provision; we always look to see our problems. And we wonder why our mental health is at an all-time low. We pry open the door of God’s providence, and our fingers get smashed.
As your pastor, as one committed to the care of your soul, stay in the present and steer clear of any vain speculation over tomorrow. God promises daily bread and daily provision because He made us to live today. God promises to be with you today. When the future becomes the present, when tomorrow becomes today, God meets you and says, “I’m still here.” Let us trust God and live day-by-day.