Reflection #3 – Living One Day at a Time

During our COVID-19 shutdown, Pastor Zekveld plans to provide a personal reflection each weekday.

Living One Day at a Time

Living one day at a time is hard for us. We like to live a week, or a month, a year, or even a decade at a time.

We want to have the future staked out, all set and ready to go, fully planned, everything accounted for, with no loose ends. We want to control the future. Then we feel safe: everything’s locked up and tied down.

We like to live tomorrow today to ensure we’re okay.

But God doesn’t want us to live that way. Because we can’t. He doesn’t want us to try to be God Who alone determines the end from the beginning. (see Isaiah 46:10)  

This is His ‘Law of Manna’ which He gave Israel in the desert long ago: Gather enough for one day only. One day at a time. And trust Me for tomorrow. (see Exodus 16)

Jesus taught us to pray that way – Give us this day our daily bread. Seek from God what you need today, and don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow shall have plenty of its own worries. (see Matthew 6:34)

There’s nothing wrong with planning. In fact, it’s required. And it’s natural. God created us purpose-filled, planning, forward-thinking. It’s a beautiful thing, imitating our God who always works with a perfect plan and purpose. Just like the beauty of ants working hard to store up for winter. (see Proverbs 6:8)

And just like Jesus who organized and lived His whole life around a set goal and plan: His heart and mind were set on going to the cross in Jerusalem and then back to the glory of heaven.

Still, He embraced the full significance and meaning of what was before Him today. He did not let today get crowded out by tomorrow. He handled each day’s people and crises faithfully, moment-by-moment. (see Luke 13:32-33, Mark 10:49)

The problem is not with our planning. The problem comes when we don’t trust God’s planning. We want to live one month or year at a time because God may have some loose ends in His plans that we need to tie down to make our lives safe. We want to control Him.

But the Lord calls us to make plans, and then submit each day’s plan to Him, and allow His plan to overturn ours. That’s what it means to live one day at a time.

It’s not living carelessly or recklessly or thoughtlessly, but humbly and submissively. Whatever you have planned for tomorrow, just gather enough for today, without anxiety for what tomorrow may bring.

Don’t live tomorrow today. It’s too much. You’ll end up impatiently bypassing today’s opportunities to hug your wife, play with the kids, speak kindly to your client, and call that person in distress.  

You need all your wits about you for what is in front of you so don’t add tomorrow’s burdens to an already full plate.

Ed Welch, Meditations on Fear, Worry and Trust

COVID-19 is a huge disruption to everyone’s plans. Governments had different plans for the economy, stockholders had different pans for their portfolios, students had different plans for the school year, families had different plans for Spring Break, pastors had different plans for their catechism classes.

Yet in this unusual lockdown season with all its pain, God has provided special opportunities for families to enjoy time together. Let’s make the most of each day of it!

God is training us – again – to live ‘DV’ (Deo Volente): if God wills we will do this or that, because we do not have tomorrow in our hands. (see James 4:11-15)

So, as you live in light of your goals for yourself, your family and your business, see today’s events, problems, interruptions, opportunities, conversations as important.

The people were in a hurry to get Jesus to Jerusalem to make Him a King. Jesus was also focused on Jerusalem for a different purpose, but He stopped for Bartimaeus because this needy blind man was before Him right now.

So live one day at a time. Make the most of today. Rather than throw away the present through fear and impatience because tomorrow is already upon you, choose to enjoy the people and gifts God has put in your life, to address patiently the issues, problems, people that are in front of you.

Don’t live tomorrow today. Live one day at a time. Put tomorrow under God’s promise: I will be with you always.  And know that His grace is sufficient for you today. His mercies are new every morning. (see Lamentations 3:23)