MONDAY MEDITATION: Tomorrow? (October 17)

Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. — Matthew 6:34

I’ve always been a bit puzzled by the last part of this verse. The first part is something that we hear preached to us all the time. Today is all we have, so let’s make the most of it. The past is the past, and the future is beyond our control. So, make the most of each minute of the day.

But today “has enough trouble of its own”? Shouldn’t I be worried about that?

Maybe there are some hidden messages there.

Life isn’t to be worry-free. How many times have we unconsciously assumed that our faith entitles us to less suffering and anxiety? But why should we expect special privileges? If we’ve turned to Jesus to see what favors we can solicit, perhaps we’ve mistaken who he is. He’s the one who’s said that each day will bring trouble.

You are not to worry about what others worry about. Jesus prefaced this verse by adding that God is more parent than Santa Claus. A parent cares, loves, and provides for. A Santa gets letters from nice kids wanting stuff. Big difference. Like a mom or dad, God busily provides the necessities of life so that people can go about doing what is necessary: attending to the promise, not the peril, of the present.

You are free to live and love while others are free to live and fret. Christ calls his followers to be servants to others. We love, give, forgive, listen. In so doing we embody sonship and daughtership to Jesus’ Father. But we also receive so much in return. The smiles we see, the stories we hear, the courage we witness, the wisdom we learn: connecting to those facing today’s problems inspires us to live beyond today’s troubles as well.

Troubles are woven into the fabric of today. They are, though, opportunities for us to discover the truth behind what Jesus taught. He never told us to worry about the present problems. He simply told us to live through and beyond them by trusting God and loving others. There’s strength and hope there. Paul, who had his own share of daily troubles, would later testify to this: “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31)

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