I’m not someone who has ever created a 5 year plan. It’s just not how I roll. I’m also not a spontaneous kind of person either. That is also just not in my nature. And I think the reason for both is very clear. Worry.
It’s hard for me to think that far ahead because it’s like throwing anxiety-meat to my brain-lion. I feriously start panicing about my kids. How will they be doing in school? What kind of challenges will they face? Maybe they’ll be bullied! Will they be falling away from the faith? What if their future is just one big nightmare! And where will my husband and I be? Will we be struggling in our marriage? Will we be in a different country? What if we’re in terrible debt!
But spontaneity is also too risky because details need to be sorted before I can feel secure about virtually anything. My peace of mind in both these area’s hang in the balance.
Last night my life group was pondering about our human need to know the future. And it made me want to think through this desire we have to know what tomorrow or the next 5 years holds for us.
I believe we desperately want some measure of peace, which is why so many of us purchase it by entertaining modern-day Balaam’s, like the prosperity gospel. It itch’s that scratch of desired foreknowledge. If I give this much money to the church, then I will most certainly, without a doubt, get ten fold. Or if I pray this Old Testament prayer every single morning, health will be restored to me.
It’s a sneaky version of fortune-telling without the creepy crystal ball. It’s also faulty.
And it makes us feel good to think we have some control over tomorrow and the next day and beyond. It’s just far more challenging to trust the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:34,
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
The Israelites had to learn this every single evening in the desert when they watched each one of the left over manna melt away into nothing. They were forced to have faith that tomorrow morning a new crop of fresh manna would be provided by the Lord for their nourishment. But only for that day. Because tomorrow would care for itself.
In fact any attempts at stashing some of the goods away for the night would ensure maggots and a stench unworthy of edibility.
God most certainly was commanding a level of obedience, but not just for the sake of it. He was desperate to make it clear to His people that He loved them enough to provide for their basic needs. You need food? Here it is!
This is why we are taught to pray, give us this day our daily bread, and not this week or month or year. We will worry about tomorrows bread, tomorrow.
And this is the beautiful message of Scripture – Do not turn to other gods for the fulfillment of your needs and desires, seek first His kingdom and righteousness and because of His great love, all that is necessary will be added to you. When we seek His kingdom and righteousness our desires change and our worry disappears.
But the best part about all this, is that though the physical bread for our bellies may run out one day, our greatest needs are still met in Jesus Christ, the bread of life. This beautiful picture is made clear in John 6:30-33,
So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
So there is no reason to worry, and no cause for fear! Because Jesus shall be our sweet and perfect bread for the day.
Five years from now, who knows where I’ll be. However I can be certain that wherever I am there will be trouble. And there will likely be some form of trouble awaiting me a week from now. But Jesus is my manna. And every morning He is good.
So all that we have is today.
And I pray that this day will be spent feasting on the abundant bread of life, seeking first His kingdom, and leaving all worry for the maggots.