Did you wake up this morning thinking about tomorrow? Are you worried that your husband won't get that job he needs so badly? Maybe you don't answer your phone anymore because bill collectors continue to call at all hours. Find yourself in tears about lunch time because you don't know what you will put on the dinner table tonight? Your prescriptions are at the drug store and your wondering how in the world your going to get them. You go to bed at night and sleep does not come easy. In fact, sleep only comes after you have cried each and every tear you have bottled up. Your heart is full. Your mind is racing. All you can think about is, "What are we going to do?"
How do I know? That was me a few years back. When my husband was laid off work for three years life was rough. Stress was high. Emotions were on the edge. When the savings drew empty and the unemployment stopped short, there was little left. Your pride gets in the way and you really don't want to ask for help, but then life gets to the point of if you don't get help the end is nearer than you ever imagined.
Are you there today? It may not be finances. It might be your heath, your heart, your family, your everything. You feel exhausted and ready to implode. It just seems like everything is ready to fall straight down on you. You are so worried about tomorrow and what is to come that the smallest joy doesn't even bring a smile today.
The Israelites were not much different. They were held captive. Beaten and bruised. Things couldn't look much worse for them, but salvation came. Freedom released them from the bondage of their chains, but the desert wasn't far off. Forty years is a long time to spend in an area they could have been through in just a short time.
During their lifetime they had a cloud lead them in the day and a fire lead them by night. They had the gift of manna. God provided. He provided, but they were so stuck in tomorrow and where they were going they forgot yesterday and the glory of freedom. They forgot everything God had done for them. In one moment they decided to complain about having manna, when not too long ago, that manna would have been cherished.
We forget don't we? I know I did. I had forgotten how God had brought us through every other lay off. He brought us through heartache of many kinds. At some point I had just lost hope and worried myself in tomorrow and what wasn't there. But do you know, my friends, God is already there. He already sees tomorrow and He has it under control.
I can tell you there wasn't one day in those three years we went without food or our needs. God provided daily.
"Then the Lord said to Moses, "Look, I'm going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they will gather food, and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual."' Exodus 16:4-5
"Give us each day the food we need." Luke 11:4
Friends, do you see here? God isn't saying anything about yesterday or tomorrow. He is saying He will provide for today. This day. Why don't we trust Him? Why don't we look for the manna from heaven? Because we get caught up in our circumstances and allow fear to take seat in our lives. Satan fills us with doubt and we become depressed in our time of need.
"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
I finally got to that point of peace where I knew all was going to be okay. Not just okay, but that God was going to do something spectacular! He not only gave my husband a job, but a better job and one that he enjoys. But more importantly He changed us! He moved us! He spoke to our hearts and we once again knew without a doubt that He hadn't left us, but in fact was leading us the whole time. We just lost sight of Him because He was no longer our focus, but our very circumstances surrounding us. During these three years I grew so much. I learned to totally surrender all to Him and trust Him. I hadn't done that in a long time. I forgot to look back at all He had done and thank Him. I began praising Him again. I removed my focus off of me and turned it towards others. I could still bless and I could still be used of God.
"Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice!" Philippians 4:4
See, it says always! Not just when your plate is full or when you have that perfect day. He says, always rejoice! When is the last time you rejoiced in the Lord? Thanked Him not only for today, but ALL that He has done? Today is a new day. Take this day and rejoice. Thank Him for all He has given and trust Him with all that you don't understand. With that tornado brewing around you, God is still big enough and strong enough to keep you in His hands and set you down on solid ground.