Devotional: July 8, 2020
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6: 34 The Message
Here, Jesus talks about the importance of living in the present, rather than worrying about the future. This comment comes at the end of his teaching about how God cares for the birds, the wildflowers, and every other part of His creation. Therefore, He will surely care about you!
Yet Jesus realizes that worry about the future can rob the present of its joy. Therefore, he encourages us to live in the present. We need to pay attention to what God is doing right now.
We cannot and should not ignore the future. In fact, there are plenty of scriptures which talk about the importance of planning for the future. Yet there is a difference between planning and worrying, and between preparing and obsessing. The truth is that a line is crossed when we fill our every waking moment with worry about the future.
Ultimately, Jesus is revealing to us the truth: excessive worry about the future reveals that we have a lack of trust in God’s power. Do you believe that God is big enough to handle the future? If so, then just relax! God has both the present, and the future in His care.
The future can and probably will bring challenges. However, there is nothing which we cannot handle without the Lord’s help.
In the meantime, don’t miss the joy which is present each and every moment, of each and every day. Counselors have even coined a word for trying to concentrate on the present moment. It is called “mindfulness,” and it is greatly needed in our world today. Many find that by practicing mindfulness exercises, they are able to reduce their level of anxiety, and to concentrate more on life’s joys. They find they are more present, and less preoccupied with worrying about future problems which may, but probably will not, occur. (For more information on mindfulness, go to mindful.orgMindful - healthy mind, healthy life Mindful celebrates mindfulness, awareness, and compassion in all aspects of life—through Mindful magazine, Mindful.org, events, and collaborations. mindful.org).
In the end, what Jesus is teaching us is that leaving the future to God is a great way to live in the present moment. We would be less anxious, and far better off emotionally and spiritually if we did so. May it be so!
Forgive us for being distracted by many different things, instead of paying attention to what You have in store for us in the moment. Help us to trust You with our future, so that we are not burdened with it. Give us the grace to be fully present for our friends, our family, our neighbors, and our community.
We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.