Let’s talk about all you have coming up. All you’re preparing for. All you have to do to get ready for what is next. Whew, the weight of what’s ahead and all it will require of you is almost overwhelming isn’t it?
Y’ALL, NEXT WEEK HAS BEEN EXHAUSTING!
Is that the way you feel? You’re exhausted just thinking about what you have to do on a day that hasn’t even gotten here yet. You’re dreading things that don’t even apply to today. You’ve overwhelmed with tasks you can do absolutely nothing about this week, and you’re already exhausted by a pile of crap that hasn’t even been crapped yet.
Why does next week feel like it’s already been more than you can handle? Because, Sis, you’re not supposed to be in next week, you’re supposed to be right here. Every time you run ahead and imagine how hard future events are going to be, you just make it harder for yourself here now.
Jesus sat his disciples down and taught them how to pray. Matthew 6: 9-11 “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread…”
Bread was a staple in the Jewish diet. Bread signified provisions from the Lord. Remember when God caused bread to rain down from the Heavens upon the Israelites in the wilderness? Yes, God is telling us to seek him for our daily provisions of every thing we need, and trust he will provide for this day, just as he did for the Israelites.
But when we don’t see what we already have, and when we begin to worry about what may happen next, we lose all joy and peace here where we have been fully provided for.
Let me tell you a little story. We brought our daughters home from a Mexican orphanage when they were 5 and 6. Here in our home they had an abundance of everything they could possibly want or need. The first night in our home, they would go to the refrigerator and just stare at all the food. They would close the door, wait a second, then open it again with sheer delight all over again to see the food was still there. Then they would go to the pantry. Open the door and squeal over all the food, close the door and wait. Open the door and squeal again.
We began to quickly notice at each meal, the girls would leave a large portion of food still on their plate. Sometimes we would even notice they were really enjoying what they were eating, but they would almost seemingly force themselves to stop eating early. They would not clean their plate, and they would quickly be hungry again after each meal.
A few weeks into their new life in our home, a strange odor came from the girls’ room. The odor grew more noticeable each day. It was coming from their closet. There, hidden in the back of their closet, was a stockpile of leftover food from days and weeks before. Although they knew they were loved in their new family, they questioned our ability to provide for them, so they held back a little of what they had in case the day came when there was no food.
And isn’t this an image of us? We know God loves us, but sometimes we hold back a little just in case he doesn’t provide. We worry and fret over tomorrow, even though it’s completely evident that he provided for today. And this fear causes us to not fully enjoy what we have now, because we’re living in the demands of a tomorrow that hasn’t yet arrived, questioning our provider of his ability to provide.
This is why next week has been exhausting for you. You’re forgetting all you have today; worried about energy, help, time and resources you think you’re going to need next.
When has God not gotten you through? When has he not provided exactly what you needed for your day? When have you ever not survived before? Never. That has never happened. So why are you allowing what may come next to stress you out and steal your joy and peace today?
Eventually our daughters stopped hiding half eaten corndogs and breakfast burritos in their closet. But those deeply ingrained memories of hungry little tummies before they were rescued didn’t just go away. As they grew older, the moment they would wake up, they would ask what was for breakfast. While eating breakfast, they would need to know what was for lunch and dinner. If we were going to Papa and Grandma’s house for the weekend, they would first need to know when we were going to eat again.
One day, we decided to help settle their fears, and we had a large framed chalkboard hung in our kitchen. There, I would write our meal plan for the entire week. Every meal was covered. There was no longer unfounded fear running through their little heads. WE WILL HAVE FOOD, AND WE WILL HAVE IT EVERY DAY.
There’s a chalkboard with a message for you, my sister. A message that will calm your fears, ease your anxiety, and help you stay right here in the provisions of today, knowing tomorrow will be taken care of as well. The message is Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
God will meet ALL your needs. How? With all he has. What does he have? EVERYTHING. When will he provide it? Exactly when you need it.
You can open the refrigerator and see, he has absolutely EVERYTHING for you. Open the pantry door on the storehouses of Heaven, and squeal with delight, absolutely nothing is missing or lacking. Your Father has everything for you, and he will not miss a single day of providing for you.
At some orphanages caring for children who have been left behind in war ravaged countries, the children were continuously restless at night. They tossed and turned in complete anxiety. The caretakers tried everything to calm them, and nothing seemed to bring peace. Then, they began putting a piece of bread in the hand of each child as they went to bed. The bread wasn’t to be eaten, it was just to reassure them there would be food again for tomorrow. With the bread in their little hands, they would go right to sleep.
You can go to bed every night with confidence knowing God will most certainly provide for you. Here’s what you cling to. Romans 8:32 “Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?”
Honey, put a cross around your neck and hold it as you sleep. Let it be a reminder to you that God has proven he will give you everything. He gave you his son, won’t he also give you what you need for next week?
You don’t have to hold back in fear. You don’t have to worry and fret over what may or may not be coming next. Jesus said, “Pray like this … Give us this day our daily bread.” He’s teaching us to have a relationship with God where we trust him for every single day, knowing tomorrow and next week will be sufficiently covered when it’s time.
Your good, good Father has a plan for you, and that plan is not for you to be exhausted about next week. Just as my plan was never for my little girls to be stockpiling leftover, spoiled food in their closet. That breakfast burrito was no good by the next week, and honey, today’s stress is no good by next week either. You’re missing what you could be enjoying today, thinking you won’t have enough next week.
Am I saying go spend all your money today and pray you’re paid early next time? Absolutely not. Am I saying quit your job and charge that vacation of a lifetime now, trusting a new job will magically appear when you get back, with a signing bonus to pay off your newly acquired debt? I’m not a financial advisor, but that sounds like a horrible idea.
What I am saying is don’t let what you have today spoil because you’re already in next week. God has energy here for you today. That energy is sufficient to do every single thing you need to do today. If you waste it worrying about all you have to do next, you don’t have what God gave you for now.
NOW – stay here now. There are provisions here for you, and those provisions are sufficient for you. My God will meet all your needs according to his riches. He is fully capable. He is not limited in any way. He can be trusted with tomorrow when tomorrow comes. And he can be trusted with next week when it arrives.
Stay in today. Stay in what you can do now. Stay in all God has provided for you here. And you will find, it’s a plate full of every single thing you need. Every single day, because God is good like that!