FEARING TOMORROW

My Mom was a worrier.  Worry was as much a part of her as breathing.  Her worry lost her many hours of needed sleep.

Mama worried most about her kids.  I was a little girl during the Second World War, but I had three big Sailor brothers who were in the thick of the conflict.  No one will ever know the agony mama suffered.  She was a Godly woman, who prayed diligently for her boys, but still she worried.

I’ve never thought of myself as a worrier.  That’s the reason I adopted the title “Optimistic Octogenarian.”  To my understanding, age is supposed to bring greater wisdom and needed strength to stand in fearsome times, and I believe it does.  I am wiser.  I am stronger, I think, but like my Mother, I have become more of a worrier.  If I go to the grocery store, will I inadvertently contact the virus?  Will I get sick before I can get the vaccine?  Being older and alone, what will I do when I can no longer care for myself?  Actually, I am wasting precious mental energy on things that will probably never happen.

Remember Y2K, the terrible doom that hovered over us in 1999?  It all had something to do with computers.  We were told that, at midnight on December 31, the whole world, everything necessary for life, would come to a screeching halt.  It all seems silly now because nothing catastrophic happened, and we greeted a new millennium without a hitch.

Now over twenty years later we’re facing a time of crisis such as I have never known. Last winter we all thought this pandemic would be over in a couple of months.  Now we are entering a second year of uncertainty.  

During the fearful days of World War II, America banded together, as one, to fight the enemy.  Now we are fighting each other tooth and toenail.  We are in a new and unexplored territory.  We can’t pretend that life is normal, and none of us knows what is ahead.

Anxiety and fear of tomorrow are inevitable in times like these. When we consider the billions in this world who have no fixed axis, no hope to cling to, and knowing that anxiety is irrational and nothing can banish unnecessary worry, still we are anxious and afraid.

Charles Spurgeon is quoted as saying, “Our anxieties do not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it only empties today of its strength and joy.”

During the great depression in 1933, in his inaugural address, President Franklin Roosevelt said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”   That’s the sadness of it all.  Fear begets fear, and fear never changes tomorrow or anything else.

We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but God does, and He cares for each of one of us with a personal and individualizing love.  When our panic wants to rise, and fear threatens to consume us, we tend to forget what God has done for us in the past, how He has met our needs, sent messengers of hope, intervened in alarming impossible situations, and brought peace to our troubled soul.  Looking back, we can trace God’s providential hand.  Remembering God’s goodness, peace and calmness is possible even in the midst of Covid’s reign of fear, because He is in control!  

In Isaiah 51:12-13, God says to us, “…I am He who comforts you, so why are you afraid of men who are made like grass and have forgotten your maker who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth…”

In essence He says, “Who do you think you are worrying like that?

In Matthew 6:34 (The Message) we read, “Give your entire attention to What God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

God is not speaking of what we call the simple accidents or misfortunes of life, but of the troubling things with which we have to contend daily.  He is saying that the present day has enough trouble already without conjuring up a further problem.

Isaiah 43:1-3, a marvelous promise, “…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name. You are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned.  For I am the Lord your God…”  He has all the bases covered.

Stop thinking you know what the future holds and trust God to take care of tomorrow.              He is already there!

 

REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!