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Monday, September 14, 2009

The future.

Yesterday, as part of our message on the Christian discipline of meditation, I asked our people to write down their top three worries and bring them forward as part of our response/offering time. I was trying to share that the only way we can really hear from God is if we empty our minds of the worries that consume us and really lean into Him.

I've looked through those pieces of paper this morning. Here is the interesting thing. They all deal with the future. Not one sheet turned was absent of some mention of the future. About 70% of them had financial concerns as their #1 problem. Others mentioned things such as future plans, finding a spouse, looking for a job or knowing what God's plan is for me. The concerns came from different perspectives and out of different backgrounds but they held that one thing in common--the future.

But the interesting thing about this is that God has always warned us NOT to be concerned about tomorrow. You may remember the story of the Israelites (Exodus 16) in the desert who were hungry and complaining about what they were going to eat (the future). God told Moses that He would provide for them and that very evening quail covered the campground. The next day, manna, the mysterious bread from heaven, covered the desert floor and fed God's people. But here was the catch to this mysterious provision from after day He would provide them all they needed to eat, they just couldn't keep any for the next day (the exception was the Sabbath). In other words, God didn't want them worrying about tomorrow. He wanted them to count on him, minute-by-minute, day-by-day, God wanted His people to know exactly where there help came from. It was He who supplied their needs and He would do that as long as they trusted Him.

Jesus emphasized the same when he said in Matthew 6:25, 34:

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?...So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today."

You and I will never know what the future holds but we can rest in the assurance that God holds our future and He will not allow us to go without what we need when we trust in Him.

1 comment:

Chrissy said...

That's amazing. I guess right now especially it't the future that concerns us all because our today's seem uncertain as well. It's funny, when I wrote my three items I was thinking - "I am not really worrying about these things so much as I think about them and they consume my thoughts when I am thinking of what I need to pray about". I really DO know that the Lord cares for me more than the birds. Maybe if we could recognize "worry" when it happens... how to identify it accurately... then we could trap it and give it over to God. Sometimes I work through my hypothetical situations several different ways... is that worry? I don't know for sure!