“He was with you in the past, is with you now, and will be with you in the future, giving you what you need when you need it most.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 30, 2023
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matthew 10:16-20, NIV
I’ll admit it: I’m a worrier. This has been true of me since I was a young child, and now as a parent of one especially anxious youngster, it’s painful to see the ways this struggle has been passed on to another generation. Worry, at least the kind that keeps me up at night, is rarely logical. Perhaps that’s true of all anxiety. I’m not sure. What I do know is that I seem to worry more about the future than I do the present. In fact, I notice my anxiety increases the less focused I am on the life that’s actually before me, in the here and now. In this way I’m reminded of a famous quote from Therese of Lisieux, who once said, “When we yield to discouragement it is usually because we give too much thought to the past and to the future.”
I think it boils down to a lack of control. The past is in the past, and, therefore, cannot be changed, and the future is full of so many possibilities and variables that it’s lunacy to think we can guarantee a certain result or outcome. And yet, we try, don’t we! We allow a never-ending list of “what ifs…” to expand within our hearts and minds, leaving us unsettled in the present and afraid to face the future.
Into this malaise, our Lord Jesus speaks words of reassuring clarity and great hope, reminding us that he knows and rules the future, and therefore we have nothing to fear. For his disciples, one might say their fears were founded! Facing the certainty of arrest, Jesus doesn’t say if, but when you are arrested, don’t worry. In essence, the grace for that moment will be waiting for you when it arrives. You don’t need it yet, but “at that time you will be given what to say” (verse 19).
Though the details of our lives are surely different than those of his first disciples, his faithfulness is not, nor is his guidance. You and I, rather than worrying about the future, can instead choose to face it with courage and unwavering faith, believing that whatever is needed from us, in that moment will be given to us by our Lord, who knows our needs before we even ask and is able to strengthen and embolden us to faithful witness to his mercy and grace, even in the most unexpected or unwelcomed of circumstances. He was with you in the past, is with you now, and will be with you in the future, giving you what you need when you need it most.
Father, thank you that you give us what we need when we need it, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What specific anxiety or worry has a hold on your heart? Choose today to release it to the Lord, trusting that he will guide you and meet your needs in each and every hour.
The Belonging Co feat. Lauren Daigle: Peace Be Still
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