Have you ever had plans for something, and no matter how you tried, just couldn’t get there? I don’t know about you, but I struggle with that a lot. Especially with this blog. It seems like the older I get, the faster time flies…
Time used to last forever
Do you remember that wonderful feeling when you were a kid, when summer or winter vacation had the surreal forever feel? I still recall making tunnels through the piled snow, trying to make a handsome snowman, and the thrill of riding my bike without having to be anywhere on time. Somewhere along the way we grow up and with it, get focused on finishing this, finishing that, when will I get to a future point, and the now, the present moment gets pushed aside.
Tomorrow never arrives
We’ve all been there. We make a plan, it doesn’t work out, I’ll do it tomorrow. But the clichéd tomorrow never arrives, and what we wanted to do never gets done. Either I do it now, today, this moment, or I won’t do it at all – like this post.
This has been particularly on my mind in recent weeks as I’ve found myself counseling many of my Chinese students. As we have wrestled together with different issues of the faith, one thing has become abundantly clear – Paul’s words, “Now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2) are not just a declaration to urge people to make a decision – they are a truth deeper than I had ever realized.
Like writing this blog. I have to sit down NOW and write it to you. When I finish it, I will post it… but that then will become a new NOW as I actually sit down to do it.
I suppose you’ve all heard this one – my mother used to quote it all the time. “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” A fancy way of saying, NOW, TODAY is the day of salvation.
Faith in the now
Prayer is also something we do now. In fact, we are told to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I don’t pray tomorrow for you, or a situation, or my nation. I need to pray now. If I don’t have time to sit in peace and quiet, then amidst the chaos of life, I have to pray, I must pray. If I wait for the perfect circumstance, it will never come.
Trusting God, though… that can be a toughie. We think it’s easy until faced with challenges that leave us feeling overwhelmed by the world. Even for this, I find it easier to trust Him now than to think about all the coming tomorrows. It’s not that He isn’t big enough for my tomorrow but this God who is, who was, and who always will be, is named “I AM” (not “I was” or “I will be”).
I don’t know about you, but this is a great comfort to me. When I’m feeling pressed for time, when I’m struggling to accomplish something, when all my plans seem to get hijacked, my God IS.
God’s comfort in the now
Every aspect of living our faith is an issue of now. God has given us wonderful love letters in the Bible. But if we never read them for ourselves, we’ll never know what He has to say to encourage us and help us in the challenges we face. How many times have I said, “I’ll read more tomorrow.”
My struggles relate to health, computer maintenance, getting my lessons for the Chinese Church done on time, getting ready to visit the US in August, and in taking the time to enjoy God’s presence in the midst of it all. I don’t know what yours are, but I do know this with a perfect assurance – in our very real now, God is truly big enough and powerful enough to help us through this moment, this hour, this day. It is enough.