Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Mid-Week Message - Anxiety About Tomorrow
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 (NIV)
Each Monday evening my husband and I enjoy watching a certain television drama together. We have been with it since it began and have gotten to know each character well. This week was the season finale, and, as most series do as they end for the season, it left many questions unanswered and left us to wonder what would happen to each of the on-screen personalities. One of our favorite characters ended by doing some things that were unlike anything that would be expected which left us both rather perplexed. Because we have become so involved in this series our discussion was filled with some possibilities that caused a bit of an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I had to remind myself that it is just a story and that I will find out next year what happens.
That is what happens when we encounter the unexpected, isn't it? The first thing we do is try to make sense of it. That leads to our attempt to figure out what is going to happen next and how it will affect us. Because the future is uncertain we begin to feel anxious about it. We start running through all the scenarios of things that could occur and asking all the "what if" questions.
We are all currently experiencing a time like this. The COVID-19 virus has struck our nation and lives have been turned upside down. We suddenly find our government telling us to go in our homes and stay there for our safety. As if to punctuate the mandate, the media regales us with story after story of the horrors seen by those who become infected. Each day brings new counts of those infected and those who have died. Quite understandably, data shows that prescriptions for anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications have soared.
It is a frightening time to be sure. We are asking when this will end and begging the Lord to remove the threat that is seemingly not going away anytime soon. As with any new illness that as yet has no vaccine, it will continue to spread and some lives will be ravaged. Knowing that, how do we go forward? Some states are beginning to announce dates that certain businesses can reopen to the public but there is discussion about how many people will feel safe enough to leave their homes and return to work or other activities.
I wish I had all the answers. I face the same questions and uncertainties that everyone else does. I wish life was predictable and that we could avoid illnesses, wars, famines, recessions and all the other tragedies that occur. That isn't possible but there is a way make it through each day with a calm spirit.
Today's verse urges us not to worry about tomorrow. A very simple translation would be to stay in today. There is absolutely no possible way for us to predict what will happen tomorrow or even an hour from now. But we know the One who has known since before time began. Our Father is never caught by surprise. He knows what will happen in each of our lives from the time we are conceived until the time we go to Heaven. He not only knows but He has a firm grip on each of us as we navigate whatever path we are on. We need to ask for His comfort and guidance and He will be faithful in giving it.
This is my prayer. "Lord, you know my heart and you know that I am confused and anxious about all that is happening. You know that I wish I could get a glimpse into the future to know that I and my family and friends will make it through this time in safety and good health. But I realize that if my wish was granted then I would not feel the need to seek your face and to stay close to you. So, thank you, Lord, for loving me enough to walk with me and for reminding me that You already have tomorrow and every day after that taken care of. All I need to do to have that peace that passes all understanding is to let you be the One that takes care of the future while I stay in this moment and praise you for it. Father, please give me wisdom and open my eyes to how I might serve you today. I love you with my whole heart. In Jesus' name, Amen."