Scotland’s George MacDonald was a Christian author and minister. He said:
No man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when tomorrow’s burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear. Never load yourself so. If you find yourself so loaded, at least remember this: it is your own doing, not God’s. He begs you to leave the future to Him and mind the present.
Of course, MacDonald’s words merely echo the words of Christ from Matthew 6:34:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Yesterday I made a quick trip to the bank, picked Ryan up from school, and wolfed down a bite of lunch. Other than those three breaks, I spent the rest of the daylight working in my yard. I trimmed back bushes, disposed of the trimmings, raked leaves, blew leaves, and toted leaves. I worked until dark and still didn’t get everything done that I had planned to do. Needless to say, I had let the place go a little too much and really needed to have such a work day.
And the fact is that during my morning prayer time, when I first got up yesterday, I got a clear leading from the Lord to devote the day to getting the yard back in shape. But, you know, before I could even finish breakfast and get out the door, some doubts started creeping into my mind. I started thinking, “Maybe I need to work on my Sunday morning sermon for a while before I head outside.”
You see, that was a case of me borrowing from a future day’s trouble. Like I said, I had so much yard work to do that I worked all day and still didn’t get finished. Obviously, I didn’t have an extra hour or two to devote to sermon preparation. But what was I worrying about anyway? I’ve still got today, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to get that sermon in order. In God’s will and plan, my main job yesterday was yard work, not sermon work.
So what’s the application of all this for you today? It’s simple: All you have to get done today is what God has scheduled for you today. One of my life verses is Ephesians 2:10, which says:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
I take this verse to mean that God has certain good works that He has prepared beforehand for me to do in my lifetime. If that’s true, then it only makes sense that these good works are laid out on a day-by-day basis. That’s why I get up each morning and literally say something like this, “Lord, thank you for the rest that I was able to get last night, and thank you for this day. Help me to do my list for today, whatever that is.” Then I do my best to let the Lord lead me step by step through my day. Some days play out pretty much as I could have guessed. Other days are filled with all kinds of wrinkles and “plan Bs.” At any rate, the point is that we need to think of each day as being a life of its own. That includes this current day. So tell me, are you focused on this 24-hour period? Or are you worrying about some future day? Be honest in how you answer and change any thinking that you need to change.