Sunday, October 05, 2008

Tomorrow's mercies for tomorrow's troubles

Josh took Isaiah to church this morning and I stayed home with Manny. Sitting through a service would be pretty difficult for both of us at this point, though I really could have benefited from corporate worship and some good teaching. I decided to make the best of it and pulled up a sermon from my favorite speaker/author on the subject that I continue to struggle with daily...anxiety. This would be the first time I've spent any real time with the Lord since Manny was born. No wonder I felt like I was running on empty in every aspect.

I won't summarize the whole sermon, but it was so good. It's good even if you don't struggle with anxiety and fear like I do. Please check out "Today's Mercies for Today's Troubles" if you have a few spare minutes....and listen to Piper preach it....even better than reading it.

A few quotes that knocked me over the head:

The point of the STAR article was that the strength to live tomorrow will be given tomorrow, not today. And it will be given. Our task today is not to have the strength needed for tomorrow's burdens. Our task today is to live by the mercies given for today, and to believe that there will be new mercies for tomorrow.

...It's important because of how natural and strong is the impulse in our hearts to want to feel sufficient today for tomorrow's challenges. We don't like it when the gauge reads "empty" at the end of the day, and we have to go to sleep—if we can—not feeling the power for tomorrow's troubles.

...You can know some of the pressures that are coming tomorrow. And part of your job may be to make some preparations for them. Those preparations are part of today's "sufficient" trouble. But how those preparations will turn out tomorrow, and whether you feel strong enough today to do your part tomorrow—that is not something God wants you to carry today. Those are tomorrow's burdens. God does not give mercies today for bearing tomorrow's burdens.

This made me realize how faithless I can be....I constantly worry about tomorrow. And right now, there's plenty to be worried about (how to parent a newborn and a toddler well when Josh goes back to work, the economy, the elections, our personal finances, should we take our house off the market, etc). And though the media and my own heart can make these issues feel urgent and a burden for today, the reality is that they really are mostly burdens for another day and the mercy that I need for those troubles will come another day. Right now I can rest in that promise and know that I have all the grace and mercy that I need for today's troubles, and when I wake up at 1:00 tomorrow morning to feed Manny there will be enough mercy for that and the rest of the day.

Here's the hymn he quoted in that sermon that brought me to tears as I prayed through it:

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.

He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose Name is Counselor and Power;

The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.

Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.


Lisa said...

Oh, how I understand the struggle with anxiety. I don't think I've ever dealt with it quite like I have now that Natalie is here. I was beginning to make myself sick for a few days when we first came home from the hospital, I was so nervous and worried about everything. I won't say I've conquered it- not in the slightest- but God is also challenging me to trust in Him, to present my requests to Him, with thanksgiving, and to be content in all situations. An awesome book that is helping that Joy sent me is called Calm My Anxious Heart, by Linda Dillow. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. I'll pray for you and all that tempts you to anxiety.

Unknown said...

i just wanted you to know that i have frequently recalled this post since i read it. i just keep telling myself tomorrow's mercies for tomorrow's troubles. obviously i need the reminder!

Anonymous said...

I have thought of you often since being here in Israel and prayed for this very thing for you. Praise the Lord. He already knew! Love you much! Mom