Monday, July 16, 2012

What We Need Right Now

In a bit of a fretful week, what comfort it was to read these comments on Psalm 23 from Dr. Tony Evans:
David didn't say, "The Lord was my shepherd." He didn't say, "The Lord will be my shepherd." He said, "The Lord is my shepherd." Right now. In this very moment. It's a present-tense relationship, which it must be, since God's name is I Am, and that name also reveals His eternal nature.
When God says, "I Am That I Am," He's saying, "I am always in the present tense." Everything for God is now. God has never experienced a yesterday. Nor does He have a tomorrow, so God never has to use the words I hope. . . .
Why is it important to know this about God? Because when I have a need, my need is in the now. When I have a struggle, my struggle is in the now. When I have a hurt, my hurt is in the now. And God tells us, "I am the Eternal Now. I can meet you in your present experience."
Then there are those of us that are worried and upset. . . because we're thinking about tomorrow. But God shepherds us one day at a time--He makes sure we have enough grace to cover the troubles of today. God says, "Don't worry. When you get to tomorrow, I'll be there. Just deal with today. Just let Me be your Shepherd, and I will take care of you. Receive My grace for this moment. And if you take time to thank Me for the present, you won't have time to worry about tomorrow."
God meets today's needs today. He'll meet tomorrow's needs tomorrow (God Is More than Enough, 16-17, full review to follow soon).
It's a funny thing about anxiety that it dwells on negative possibilities for future events but almost always excludes from the picture the grace of God. Even when my worries do come to pass, that grace can make the impossible possible and the painful things full of inexplicable peace and grace. I can borrow trouble from the future, but I can't borrow grace any more than the Israelites could borrow manna. It is daily bread Jesus taught us to request.

Following the advice of Dr. Evans, I will take time to thank my Shepherd for the present and to renew my thanks for His gifts of this past week:

6772. The Lord my Shepherd
6773. Jesus my good shepherd
6774. Grace enough for today
6775. Grace to endure discomfort
6776. Allen's help to get the cleaning done when our helper called in sick
6777. 1/4" rain over two evenings, the first since early June

6778. My mom able to blink her right eye for the first time since the onset of Bell's palsy after her last fall
6779. Blinking, one of those gifts we don't appreciate until we can't do it
6780. Freedom to ask for prayer
6781. and give it as well
6782. God's patience in sending me the same message several times in a short period to make sure I hear what He's saying, just like "rising up early and sending" the prophets to Israel
6783. the courage of those prophets (I'm reading in Jeremiah and Amos right now) to speak what God revealed even when they knew the message would be rejected
6784. Anxiety replaced with inexplicable peace
6785. Four years of snuggles from this sweet little guy 

6786. A midday concert from our little wren friend, singing perhaps half and hour, just for Ebony and me
6787. A friend's perfect ultrasound
6788. Virtually vacationing with another friend on a Revolutionary War tour (no packing or extra laundry on my end, just lots of great photos)

Q: If you wish to comment, I'd love to hear one thing for which you're thankful right now.

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Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.