We have all been in situations in which things do not look like they are adding up to an answer we are going to like. For instance, when your child discovers a personality conflict with a teacher at the beginning of the year, one plus one does not look like it is going to make a happy two. You get a new boss and first impressions are sinking like a lead anchor in your gut. Not looking good. You move into a new neighborhood and the neighborhood gossip appears on your doorstep, happy to inform you of all of the problems with so and so. You can easily fill in the blank with details from your life that tempt you to wonder, “how will I ever…”
Our family struggled through various situations this past fall. As we re-integrated into American culture, each one of us encountered various situations that were challenging. Transitions often roll like that; it seems to be part of the territory.
When I use today’s grace to look into the future, I will get caught in the tension between the now and the not yet.
I see the gap and worry that the situation will go from bad to worse. So easy to forget that…
today’s grace is for today.
Today’s strength is for today.
Today’s focus is for today.
When I add up my depleting reserves and try to plan for tomorrow, I can be tempted to think, “I don’t have enough _______ for _______.”
Resist the temptation to look at that gap between your now and your not yet,
between today and tomorrow,
between this year and next year with your eye on yourself.
See that gap with your eye on God. He is the one who fills in each gap with his providential hand. He is the one who puts the right pieces in place and at the best time to accomplish His purposes.
In light of this, Romans 8:28 comes to mind, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” You see, too often I see the gaps in my world and I try to figure out the answer or at least the reason why there is a struggle. I sometimes wonder if in my heart I re-interpret this well-loved promise to read something like this:
And I hope that God will cause everything to work out just like I want it too.
That is not what this verse says. God’s promise is to work his good and his plan in spite of all of the yuck that goes on in life, as well as in our own hearts. I am comforted by the words Joseph used to encourage his brothers, “…you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result…” Genesis 50:20
What are your eyes focused on today?
Are you looking at a gap in your life, wondering how things are going to work out?
Trust God with grace and strength for today and let him provide for tomorrow…tomorrow.