I don’t know about you, but my default is to fret and fear…especially about the future, ESPECIALLY now that I have 4 children. There’s something about the unknown, or the element of uncertainty about what I do know (or am pretty sure of), that can send chills down my spine, put beads of sweat on my brow, and squeeze my gut with an iron fist. And come to think of it, I think I fear tomorrow more than I fear anything else. Maybe there’s something about just having had a baby that makes me a bit more anxious about life (the reduced sleep might have something to do with that) or perhaps I’m just being a bit OCD these days, but it feels like my mind has been spinning nonstop about all that awaits me tomorrow…and the tomorrow after that…and the tomorrow after that. I know that’s how I was certainly feeling yesterday, but I learned a couple of refreshing things today that I would like to share with you regarding this fear.
- Do not judge tomorrow with today’s energy. I am usually frightened about all that I must do: the lives depending upon me, the long list of essential tasks that must be done, the errands that must be run, the schooling that must be accomplished (even though we are still a couple of years away from that, I still think about it), the meals that must be prepared, the potty-training and shoe-tying and sleep training that are resting on my shoulders…this endless list spins like a tornado through my mind continuously. However, I noticed that I am more aware of tomorrow’s to-do list at the end of the day when I am the most tired. In the mornings, no matter how rough my night has been, I find that I have the energy to start my new day and take on the challenges that come with it. The Bible assures me that God provides me with my daily bread, and I have concluded that that includes a daily energy supply as well. Today’s energy will meet today’s needs.
- Do not judge tomorrow by today’s experiences. When I have had a very bad day, it is easy to assume that tomorrow will only be worse. If I’ve learned of some tragedy on the news, I brace myself for the terrible thing that will happen tomorrow. If there’s been a falling out with a friend or family member, I wait for everyone else to hate me tomorrow. It sounds silly, I know, but wait – it gets even sillier: If I’ve had an amazing day, I assume that tomorrow can never be as good or wonderful and I still dread the brand new day waiting for me. The fact is that today is today and tomorrow needs a chance to be all God designed it to be. The Bible says that Christ’s mercies are new every morning; that means that tomorrow is the fresh start I need every day.
- Do not judge tomorrow with today’s emotions. Those fickle fiends called emotions! How they send all of us on roller coaster rides of immense happiness and sorrow! They whisper confidence or doubt in my ear according to their whim in the moment and much of what I expect out of tomorrow is based on how I am feeling today. Emotions are the antithesis of stability, the antonym of constancy. When facing the future, I cannot look to myself or my feelings; I must look to the only Being who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The Bible says that God is the great I AM. He is just as present tomorrow as He is today.
These little lessons can be summarized in a basic but profound truth: the one thing I do know about tomorrow is that God is there. All of my fears and frets are me-focused: “How will I feel?” “How will I respond?” “How will I manage?” They cause me anxiety because I know that I am weak and inconsistent; but God is not. As the hymn declares, “Because He lives I can face tomorrow” and that is really all I need to know about the future.