The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Grace for today

“So do not worry about tomorrow,” directed Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount, “for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34). Sounds like good advice. But coming as it does from the mouth of Jesus, I recognize the need to treat it as an imperative. These words remind me of God’s repeated “only be strong and very courageous” in the book of Joshua (e.g., Joshua 1:7). For God’s Old Testament people this was more than a suggestion.

“The thing about family disasters," muses writer Robert Brault, “is that you never have to wait long before the next one puts the previous one into perspective.” Looking back over the hectic years of raising three special-needs adopted daughters alone, I must concede some doubt: did the agency make the best decision in matching three such needy children with a single mother employed full time outside the home?

Summers in particular were problematic, marred by volatile and outrageous blowups during the days while I attempted to devote myself to work. No one was interested in “baby-sitting” in the home of a family with a 14-year-old, but the neighbors were all too willing to report the almost daily chaos. Living in close proximity to a mobile home park full of kids, many from broken homes and also unsupervised, made for unending and unforeseeable situations.

I occasionally still learn from one of the girls about some event that would have totally frazzled me had I known about it at the time. Perhaps God was shielding me from overload. I sometimes wonder what I could have done differently, but this kind of second-guessing is both unproductive and futile.

It’s far too late to worry about yesterday and absolutely useless to worry about tomorrow. As my dad used to counsel the young adult me: “Live in day-tight compartments.” Each day has enough trouble of its own — and just enough grace!

What problems are you facing today? Leave tomorrow’s troubles there. They  will wait for you.


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