Saturday, May 17, 2014

Grace for today

I'm a long range planner. I have been for years! When I come back from one vacation, I'm busy planning the next. Even in my daily life, I'm always thinking ahead...wondering what tomorrow will bring. Is it wrong to plan? No, I don't think so, but it is wrong to worry about what tomorrow holds.

This morning, as I was reading my Bible, I was studying a verse that I've read thousands of times before - Matthew 6:34. Listen to what that verse says in the Amplified version of the Bible: "So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble." As I pondered that verse, I was reminded that God only gives us enough grace to get through each day. This made me think back to an interview I'd heard with Holocaust survivor, Corrie Ten Boom. Ms. Ten Boom was speaking on how God had provided everything she and her sister had needed during their time of interment. Corrie used an example from her childhood to help others understand God's grace. She told of being a little girl and how excited she was to be going on a trip with her father. They were going to take a train and she'd never been on a train before. She kept bugging and bugging her father about the trip, and as she did, she would constantly ask him when he was going to give her the ticket for the train ride. As she told the story, she told the listeners that her father said, "When you and I go to Amsterdam--when do I give you your ticket?" She sniffed a few times before responding with "Why, just before we get on the train". Her father then went on, "Exactly. And our wise Father in Heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run out ahead of Him, Corrie." There is much wisdom in the snippet of conversation that you just read, isn't there? If you really think about it, God, in His wisdom, only gives us enough grace for one day...for this day. He doesn't give us grace to face the next few days or grace to face the next week or month or year...He only gives us enough for today.

There's another verse that may help you understand a little more clearly. It's found in the book of Hebrews, chapter 4, verse 16 and this is what it says, "Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]." Read that verse again and this time, ask a few questions:
1. To whom is that verse written?
2. What is promised in the verse?
3. Where can we find grace?
4. When do we receive grace?
5. Why does God give us grace?
6. How are we supposed to ask God for grace?
When you supply the answers to the questions above, you will see that God gives us mercy and grace because He wants to give it to us! He wants us to come before Him with courage and boldness asking for what we need. He wants us to feel comfortable enough to be open and raw with Him. Nothing we ask for is a surprise to Him...He knows everything, but in our asking, we learn to trust Him for His answer.

Tomorrow when you wake up, don't think about what's going to happen the next day or the next week. Focus on learning to live one day at a time. Trust that God is going to give you everything you need to get through THIS day. There's no reason to let worry and fear rob you of the joy set before you today. God's grace will carry you through whatever you face today...whether the day is smooth sailing or rough waters, He will be there.

I read a plaque in a craft store yesterday that applies to this devotional so well. Let me share it with you. This is what it said "I'm not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and love today." Even though I love to plan ahead, I'm going to work hard at learning to live one day at a time. I'm going to remember that God's grace is sufficient for THIS day and that He won't give me a surplus of grace to carry me through the next week, month or year. I have to trust Him to know exactly how much grace to give me for today. He knows me and He knows what this day holds for my life. As I trust in Him, I can rest knowing that He's got it all under control. That tells me that I can just sit back and enjoy the ride! Thank you Jesus, that this is going to be an awesome journey as I trust in your love and your grace to carry me through each day!

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