In a conversation with my son a couple of weeks ago, I applauded his decision to take a trip to Scotland with his wife. I thought about trips delayed because of my sense of responsibility, thinking that the time would come someday for Bev and me – and then, cancer came, followed by death which changed everything.
Yes, I know, that is a downer but when I met death, up close and personally, it brought stark clarity. I refuse to allow the wisps of regret from yesterday and the shapeless dreams of what might be tomorrow to own me today. With the dawn of each day, I commit myself to the leading of the Spirit and to the opportunities that come my way.
What is it about our humanity that makes yesterday or tomorrow so attractive? The older a person becomes the more he tends to remember the past, longing to relive the joys. The young are drawn to their dreams of a future that they are certain is just a year away when some set of circumstances converge that will allow them to live happily ever after. In fact, as the old song says, “we have this moment today.”
The letter to the Hebrews includes these inspired words about the most important decision. Using the illustration of the OT wandering of Israel when they failed to enter the Promised Land and the command of the Sabbath, the Spirit urges us to LIVE TODAY in the full promise and presence of the Father. “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:7-13, NIV)
We who live in this Christian era are given a place of full spiritual rest in God. We can live TODAY in the Spirit, not questing, not hoping, not longing for what is yet to come, nor reaching for what once was. We can know Him fully TODAY as we rest our faith on the completed work of Christ Jesus on our behalf. The ancient Israelites were offered the Promised Land but saw only the obstacles and their faithlessness caused them to be wanderers for an entire generation! IF they had trusted God, He could have led them to a settled land. What a lesson for our pilgrimage. God has a place of fullness for us TODAY, where we can settle into His grace, know the deep joy of being at home in His plan and purpose.
Will we enter into that rest? To be sure, there is growth for us. There are new discoveries yet to come, but our salvation from sin, our place in the family of God is secure by Jesus and we can rest in that, people at peace with God and from that place of serenity, at peace in our world. The Spirit reminds us that our rest is not a sleepy one! God’s Word, ‘living and active,’ directs us, gives us insight, and perfects us even as we keep the surety of future reward in mind.
Are you restless?
Does discontent, brought on by nostalgia, regret, or anticipation, own you?
LIVE TODAY! The Word says, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (Colossians 4:5, NIV) Rest on Christ’s love. Reject temptation, refuse entry to those thieves who go by the name of Past and Future. Know the fullness of life Jesus promises us TODAY when He says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10, NIV)
Here is a word from the Word. Lord, speak to us and let us hear with readily obedient hearts and minds.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
(Psalm 1, NIV)
We Have This Moment Today
Hold tight to the sound
Of the music of living
Happy songs from the laughter
Of children at play
Hold my hand as we run
Through the sweet fragrant meadows
Making mem’ries of what was today
Tender words gentle touch
And a good cup of coffee
And someone that loves me
And wants me to stay
Hold them near while they’re here
And don’t wait for tomorrow
To look back and wish for today
For we have this moment
To hold in our hands
And to touch as it slips
Through our fingers like sand
And tomorrow may never come
But we have this moment today
Gloria Gaither | William J. Gaither
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