If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time thinking.
Maybe when you have something heavy on your heart and mind at night, your first thought in the morning is to try to remember what was worrying you before sleep finally claimed you.
Before the day has even started, you’re working hard to drag the concerns of yesterday into today. As the day goes on, you focus too much on tomorrow, effectively robbing yourself of the complete joy you were meant to experience today.
Matthew 6:34 tells us “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I wonder how we would react if we could have a personal consultation with Jesus every day, a chance to ask for His opinion about how to live our life.
Obviously, this is available to us in the form of prayer and Bible reading, but what if our hearts are so heavy and our minds so full that we can’t find our way out of our pit of worry during the times we aren’t specifically devoting to Him?
An easy solution is to praise – literally lift our voice in song, singing of the goodness of the Lord. We’re told in Isaiah 61:3 that the garment of praise can actually be put on, that it will take away the spirit of heaviness. Getting out from under the heavy cloak of worry can open our eyes to the blessings we have right in front of us.
If we have spent time with Jesus in the past, we can rest assured that Psalm 119:11 is true. We’re told that hiding God’s Word in our hearts will help us to not sin against Him.
You see, God has given us this very moment. If we do anything less than appreciate it, I wonder how that makes Him feel? He tells us that “This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) That verse doesn’t specify what kind of day we might be having. No, it literally is talking about every day.
If we think about it, now is all we have. Even though we spend time rehashing the events of yesterday, worrying about the what-ifs of tomorrow, today is truly all we have. How can we rejoice in today if we aren’t truly present? The truth is that we cannot.
God has not promised us a perfect life, so why do we set ourselves up by worrying about the past or the future?
A quick look through the Bible is enough to share in the pain of so many others whose now didn’t look like what they thought it would.
Paul, whose life is an incredible example for any Christian to follow, stated in Philippians 4:11 that he had learned to be content in all circumstances. Contentment equals peace and peace means you are free from worry.
Paul certainly had plenty of regrets from his past, probably more than most. And his present circumstances at the time of his writings were definitely enough to give him a good reason to worry. Again, probably more than most. Yet he was content. Why? His mind clearly focused on the goodness of God, the race for Jesus that had been set before him, the gift of now.
Perhaps if we stop, if we take the time to look around and notice the goodness of God in our life, maybe then we will feel that unmistakable joy we feel when we open a gift.
At first, we’re humbled that someone cared enough to get us a gift. Then we feel the warmth of acceptance that comes from knowing we’ve been noticed. Finally comes the elation of the enjoyment the actual gift itself represents.
Unlike gifts that lose their ability to surprise us once the wrapping paper has been torn away, God has given each of us the gift of now. In fact, He gives us a new gift every single day. All we have to do is enjoy it.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases: his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.”Lamentations 3:22-23a