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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tomorrow, tomorrow, is only a day away!

Don't brashly announce what you're going to do tomorrow; you don't know the first thing about tomorrow. 
(Proverbs 27:1)

I don't imagine that many of us actually take this scripture seriously - most of us spend an inordinate amount of time planning, organizing, and generally creating a vision for our future without any evidence that implies we are guaranteed that future!  The writer of our Proverb is quite wise - yet I imagine he even struggled with the tendency to do just the same.  It is human nature to count on the unseen, the unknown, to come to pass.

The idea expressed in this passage is not that we aren't supposed to have a well-thought out plan or a vision for our future, but simply that we are not to brashly just expect that we have the guarantee that it will come or that things will work out exactly as we plan.  When we approach our tomorrows as though they will always be there and somehow we control the events of our tomorrows, the idea of trusting God for the outcome is not really there.

As I record these words today, I have taken the lives of several of my friends, family and acquaintances into consideration over the past two months.  Two have undergone mastectomies, another one waited painstakingly for the results of a breast biopsy, one has watched as her toddler daughter underwent brain surgery, and still another has pending biopsy results on bilateral breast nodules.  None of them had these things "penciled" in on their date books as things they would be facing!  Yet all of them are clearly in the hands of our Lord through it all.

Life deals us things we never expected - much to our surprise!  I remember facing surgery for some not so promising biopsy results when I was 39.  I never expected the results, so the surgery was a surprise, as well.  About two days prior to my surgery, I stood alone in the shower, overcome by waves of emotion.  I allowed the tears to flow as freely as the water trickling down over my body.  As I did, I poured my heart out to God.  As you would imagine, the top question was the "why" behind the circumstances I found myself facing.

You see, I had trusted in a false belief that I would never have to face cancer.  In those quiet moments, in the safety of the enclosed walls of the shower, I met with my God.  In the tenderest of ways, he encompassed me in his arms of love and spoke deeply into my spirit.  I remember hearing so clearly, "I never told you that you'd never have to FACE cancer.  I did tell you that you'd never have to FEAR cancer."  In that moment, peace overcame me and fear simply washed down the drain with all the shower water!

Seems corny, I know, to describe what God did in those moments that morning that way, but it is exactly what happened.  I went to surgery two days later, confident in my God's care and trusting in the hand of my surgeon to accomplish all that needed to be done.  The reports were good and life eventually resumed its normal day-to-day course.  Yet, in it all, I learned that tomorrow is never a guarantee and today is the focus!

Nine years later, I faced surgery again.  That time, thanks to a caring and loving God, I faced it in his arms without the fear and worry I had experienced before.  Didn't have that one plugged into my Blackberry calendar either, my friends!  Are you getting it?  God has a plan that may "perfectly" match our imagined plans, and at other times, he may allow some things to cross our path that just don't "fit" with our plans.  In those moments, we need to learn how our God works, what he is looking for in us, and how we can nuzzle up closely to him through it all.  That is the only guarantee we have!  That he will be with us in our today, using every moment of today to prepare us for our next tomorrow.