Do Not Worry

Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.
~ Proverbs 12:25 (NLT) ~

Three days into our new academic year, a movie quote came to mind, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!” How could three bumpy days cause me to be discouraged, dismayed, and worried about our future year?

The answer and encouragement came through another blogger who shared J.R. Miller’s “One Day at a Time” reading from the Come Ye Apart (Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ, 1890).  It opened my eyes to the fact that I was forecasting the entire academic year through a three-day lens!

I hope you are encouraged by it also:

Take. . . no thought for the morrow:
for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
Matthew 6:34

This last reason our Lord gives against anxiety for the future is that we have nothing to do with the future. God gives us life by days, little single days. Each day has its own duties, its own needs, its own trials and temptations, its own griefs and sorrows. God always gives us strength enough for the day as He gives it, with all that He puts into it. But if we insist on dragging back tomorrow’s cares and piling them on top of today’s, our strength will not be enough for the load. God will not add strength just to humour our whims of anxiety and distrust.

So the lesson is that we should keep each day distinct and attend strictly to what it brings us. Charles Kingsley says: “Do today’s duty, fight today’s temptation and do not weaken and distract yourself by looking forward to things which you cannot see, and could not understand if you saw them.” We really have nothing at all to do with the future, save to prepare for it by doing with fidelity the duties of today.

No one was ever crushed by the burdens of one day. We can always get along with our heaviest load til the sun goes down; well, that is all we ever have to do. Tomorrow? Oh, you may have no tomorrow; you may be in heaven. If you are here God will be here too, and you will receive new strength sufficient for the new day.

One day at a time. A burden too great 
  To be borne for two can be borne for one; 
Who knows what will enter tomorrow‘s gate? 
  While yet we are speaking all may be done. 
One day at a time,—but a single day, 
  Whatever its load, whatever its length; 
And there‘s a bit of precious Scripture to say 
  That according to each shall be our strength.

Dear Father, thank You for hearing the cries of my discouraged heart and for Your answer. You knew where I was and in Your lovingkindness You met and revealed Yourself to me through a devotional written over a hundred years ago. Today, You reinforced Your answer with the hymn, “Day by Day,” written in 1865. I ask that all who read the words above and listen to this hymn be greatly encouraged as they walk with You, a single day at-a-time; in Jesus’ name, amen.

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