For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now.
Today is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2-3 [NLT]
One Saturday afternoon, I went to the youth service bringing two big bags. Here are the contents of the bags:
Blue bag – All my clothes for the past week due for washing. One word: laundry. Some were seven days old. It should’ve been brought to the cleaners, but I opted to carry them that day.
Black bag – This one’s my sports bag. It had my clothes for the next day’s worship church service (jeans and long-sleeved polo) plus my basketball uniform and rubber shoes that I was to use in the Sunday afternoon’s ballgame.
While I carried both of them, I felt their weight. The crowd whom I was preaching to was probably thinking I was nuts. I was an eyesore. In their heads, they’re probably asking, “Why’s he bringing his laundry bag and sports bag in preaching?”
I then made my point: What usually gives us unnecessary stress and unwanted heaviness in the NOW are the unwanted baggage of the past and excess luggage of future.
Dwell in the pains of the past, and you become a prisoner of depression. Just like my laundry bag, what’s in the painful past is usually smelly and dirty. And whenever we entrap ourselves in thinking about bad memories of offenses and bitterness, we are not able to nourish what God is doing in the present. God brings good news when He said in Isaiah 43:18-19a (GNT),
“Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already you can see it now!”
A similar principle holds true when we carry the worries of the future today. Just like the stuff in my sports bag, I did not need to bring all of it until tomorrow. And sometimes in life, what pushes us to anxiety are the worries we have about tomorrow. Lord Jesus says we have to learn to live in the NOW when He said,
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Matthew 6:34 [MSG]
Do you know that the word now appears more than 1,200 times in one translation of the Bible? It’s actually enough to remind us three times a day for an entire year that God wants us to enjoy what He is doing in the NOWs of our lives.
Jesus, when He taught us to pray the Lord’s Prayer, said, “Give us today our daily bread …”# Notice that He didn’t tell us to ask for tomorrow’s bread or for yesterday’s bread. He instructed us to pray for today’s bread and needs.
There are a lot of things that God is doing in the present. Let go of the bad things of the past and the unnecessary worries of the future and focus on the NOW.
Cherish your relationships today. Seize the godly opportunities to do good that God allows for your life today. Feel at peace knowing that God has given you enough strength to overcome today’s hurdles and He will give you another bucket of strength to do the same for tomorrow’s challenges.
Get rid of the someday syndrome. Drop the laundry bag of the past. Drop the sports bag filled with tomorrows needs. Change for the better now. Start serving God today. Right now is the best time to start pleasing God.
ONE ON ONE WITH GOD
Dear Jesus, today I’m choosing to let go of my unwanted baggage. Help me to let go of the pains of the past. And help me, too, to free myself from worrying about what’s gonna happen tomorrow. Instead Lord, teach me to appreciate today and what You are doing now. Guide me so I won’t miss out on the beauty of the present. As I do this, I know You are relieving me from a lot of stress and anxiety. Thank You, Lord. Amen.
You need to REFUEL
In Ru dela Torre’s 3rd book with OMF Literature, he shares a mix of personal reflections and devotional entries or “reflectio-devos” to energize you while you’re spending quiet times with God