In these unprecedented times, people are looking to quiet their inner fears and anxiety. I have really enjoyed this book and wanted to share the devotional for today that can help center our hearts and minds back on the God who takes care of the birds. I encourage you to read this excerpt, put down your phone or computer and then go take a walk with God.
This excerpt is from Ed Welch’s new book A small book for the anxious heart:
Day 27 Grace for Today
Everyone is interested in ways to quiet fears. This has lead to some Eastern religions with their interest in breathing and mindfulness techniques for being present and in the moment. They focus on not living in the future but living now. Although these miss the personal God, in their focus on the present they have noticed one of the features of biblical wisdom.
Think manna. For forty years in the Sinai wilderness, the Lord gave his people manna one day at a time. If they tried to save some for the next day, it grew moldy. The only time they could keep it overnight was in preparation for the Sabbath, when they were to rest from work. The Lord was teaching his people to depend on him one day at a time. Each morning they had to trust him again that the bread from heaven would fall from the sky.
We could substitute the word grace for manna. Grace, like manna, is God’s gift during our neediness. But grace is bigger than manna. It sustains us and gives us power. The Lord will give us all the grace we need for today. Tomorrow he will give us the grace we need for tomorrow. When you try to think about tomorrow without yet received power for tomorrow, you will be anxious.
With the promise of grace in hand, Jesus invites you for a walk outside in God’s world (Matthew 6:25-34). Together you walk by birds that are thriving because your Father cares for them. He teases you about your worries by asking if they can make you taller. He points out the generosity of his Father as you witness the lavish beauty of creation. He reminds you that those beautiful lilies along the road don’t have to work, and yet they are wonderfully clothed. He concluded by bringing your attention to the present.
“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)
Your worries are taking you away from the present, where God is at work. Perhaps you think that God will not be with you tomorrow. Perhaps you think that after rescuing you and bringing you into his family by what his Son has done, he might abandon you in your time of need. Not true.
He will give you power for right now. He is doing something right now. In the midst of chaos, the Spirit often gives us a simple and clear mission, such as choosing to trust in God’s love, listening to another person, helping someone in his or her need, or preparing lunch. Your God has made you a partner in bringing his kingdom to earth. Look around and see what he is doing and how he might want you to participate with him. Today “has enough trouble of it’s own” (Matthew 6:34 NIV). You need all your wits about you for what is in front of you. Don’t add tomorrow’s burdens to an already full plate.
1. What simple and clear mission can you see when your anxieties begin to swirl
2. Go outside and look at God’s creation. Imagine you are walking with Jesus (because you are). What do you see and hear as you walk that speaks to your worries?