“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34 ESV)
I once read a statement that said: “90% of the things we worry about never come to pass.” For some reason, I still do not quite believe that. Oh, I can look back over my life and see that most of the things I have spent my time worrying about never happened, probably more than 90% in my case. But I still don’t seem to fully get it. I still tend to worry, fret, and be anxious over things that I know will not likely really ever occur, yet I cannot seem to reason my anxieties away or convince myself that the newest fears clouding my emotions are no more imminent than the thousands of others which preceded them.
Facing a great many changes in my life, including a relocation and an occupational move, I find myself once again battling the trepidations of uncertainty which inevitably accompany times such as these. Yet in a moment of reflection and self-examination just a few days ago, it occurred to me that the majority of the fears I am struggling with are not from difficulties that have actually presented themselves, but from potential hardships and obstacles which may present themselves further down the road. Most of my anxieties are not from problems that I am currently facing, but from future, heretofore unrealized difficulties which may or may not ever really happen – more than likely, the latter. Most of the fears in my life do not come from what is, but from what if?
The Lord Jesus understood this tendency in human nature when He instructed us to not be anxious for tomorrow. He knows that we all struggle at times with the uncertainty of the future and the things that might happen to us. He knows that the what ifs? that prey upon our worried minds can overwhelm us to the point where our faith and trust in Him begins to slip and anxiety starts to take over. The Lord’s directive to us concerning this is to not worry about the what ifs?, but rather focus on what is actually happening here and now. Not that we would be overwhelmed by fear of our current circumstances, but that we might trust Him to bring us through them. There are enough real and tangible hardships and trials in our life, there is no need to concern ourselves with possible ones.
Standing at this crossroad in my own life, I can think of no better time to change the way I look at tomorrow. It is time to surrender my what ifs? to the Lord, knowing that He is faithful in all things, that nothing will ever happen that He does not permit. We can become so filled with fear of the future and regret of the past that we lose sight of what God is calling us to do today. The future is in His capable hands, we need not fear it. He has seen what will happen, He knows what lies ahead and has done all that is necessary so that we can continue to walk safely with Him then just as we do now. He is the God of the what ifs? in life, He will have everything under control tomorrow just as He has everything under control today.
May the God of all our “tomorrows” bless you and keep you. To Him goes all glory. In His service,
[In light of my very busy schedule over the coming days, I will not be writing a new post next week. I am hoping, Lord willing, to resume our look at Romans and Exodus starting the following week.]
*English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.