Thought for the Month
Tomorrow! Oh, the bogey of tomorrow, and the unrest it brings into our little day! It needed all the persuasive powers of our beloved Lord to dispel the spirit of disquiet from His disciples' minds and set their hearts at rest. Of course there seemed to be every reason in the world why they should think of their future days. Were they not leaving everything to follow Him; to go without purse or scrip or other entanglement, with nothing more than a questionable hospitality awaiting them? If an hospitable host accepted them and welcomed them, then let them call down the blessing of the peace of God upon that house, but if no hospitable host awaited them, ….that was just it! Supposing there was no such host in the whole city or countryside? Assuring them that all their needs were known and that He who clothed the lilies could find them clothes, and He who fed the sparrows could find them food, the Lord advised them to leave their tomorrows alone. Oh yes! Tomorrow would most certainly have its cares and perplexities; its refusals and rejections, but He would have them let tomorrow be anxious for itself. Then said Jesus "Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day". (Matt.6:34 RSV). There was not always an overflowing purse for those first pioneers of our faith; sometimes they would have enough to 'abound', at other times they knew what it was to be in 'want'.
Contentment in every state was a lesson that needed to be learnt. It is a perquisite of man's superior mind that he alone of the whole mundane creation can visualise tomorrow and its needs. The squirrel, by inborn instinct, may hoard up its nuts ‑ a supply for a later day; but it is not within its power to wonder what will happen when the store is gone. Strange to say, it is the thrifty careful man who is likely to look through the bars of the morrow. The spendthrift, careless, easy-come-easy-go type will often say "tomorrow never comes", or "let us eat and drink today, tomorrow we may die". Naturally the Christian believer will be of the thrifty rather than the spendthrift type and finds the natural propensities a handicap if not a hindrance to his rest of soul. And while there is no prohibition against a "proper thought" for coming days, it is so easy to exceed the range of "proper thought", and expand it into anxious care. The dividing line between pleasure and pain is very thin; what may have been intended as a love-tap may reach its target as a hurtful blow. It is all a question of degree. So with the exercise of "proper thought".
With a big D.V. (Deo Volente) controlling it, the exercise of "proper thought" enables one to stand up to life's opportunities, and this is as true of Christian work as of the daily round. But without that submission to the "If God Will", even the common round of this very day can abound with anxious care, while tomorrow will be full of ghosts and fearsome shapes. "One day at a time" is the Saviour's rule of life; it is still a "lesson" that must be learned. It reduces itself to a question of "faith" or "little faith" ‑ of "trust" or "little trust", of the childlike dependence (or lack of it) in a loving Father's care.
"Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" Jesus said. Over against that "Sufficient" we should learn to place another: "My grace is sufficient for you". Sufficient grace will then cancel out "sufficient" evil.
Perhaps the poet was right when he said,
You're groaning to-day `neath a burden of care,
'Tis more than your sad fainting spirit can bear,
Don't seek from the future new trouble to borrow
But leave in Christ's hands the keys of tomorrow.
Your way may be clouded, your future concealed,
And scarcely the present is clearly revealed;
`Twill strengthen in weakness and comfort in sorrow
To leave in Christ's hands the keys of tomorrow.
It is a big step forward in the Christian life when we have learned to sing,
God holds the key of all unknown.
And I am glad.
If other hands should hold the key,
Or if He trusted it to me,
I might be sad.