My previous blog post tiled, "What is Hope? - Part 2" discussed how hope was the connector between our past and our future. If you haven't read that post yet, I suggest you do now...then come back to finish this post.
While hope connects our past to our future, hope is found in our present. In one of his first public sermons, Jesus said to those in attendance, "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries."
Isn't this so true friends? Hope often asks us to keep our gaze in life looking forward. There's nothing wrong with this! We're anticipating things and we're expecting outcomes when we are hoping. But Jesus here tells us to keep our focus on today, on the here and now.
The larger context of Jesus' words here is discussing God's ability to provide for our every need...that we are valuable in His eyes...and that He can and will provide for us when we seek His presence first. This sermon is encouraging people to focus on the here & now. To seek first the Kingdom of God. While this sermon is not saying Christians should never look forward to what the Lord is cookin' up...Jesus is teaching on the importance of people accurately assessing the current state of affairs around them.
I learned how important this is over the last several days. A week before this writing I was involved in a pretty significant car accident, when a full size SUV rear-ended my small car at around 35 mph. Praise God that nobody involved had life-threatening injuries! All the tests the Emergency Room doctor order on me came back negative, to which again I praise God. My body was badly bruised and very sore however. Most daily tasks were difficult, and my car was likely a total loss.
In assessing the reality all around me in those days, here's what I found: a wife who dropped what she was doing to come to my side, a coworker who called my supervisors on my behalf to make them aware of what happened, a company VP who personally called to check in on me, a grandma who gave me a ride to the ER the next day, a sister-in-law who made a trip to the hospital after I was discharged to pick up my wallet that I had left there by mistake...then later delivered it to my house, a cousin who made dinner for my family, a mother-in-law who took my kids after school to get them dinner...then took them to football practice for me, parents who showed their love and encouragement from their current location of five states away, and hundreds of other friends & family who reached out to me and my family to express their concern & support.
Even though I never doubted whether or not my village of family & friends cared about me, just receiving all the care & concern that I did from them gave me a huge burst of hope. Because of the overwhelming outpouring from people all around me, I know that I can take on whatever task that's laid before me. My hope was found in the present my friends. So while I'm still anticipating I'll experience the Lord's goodness in my future, I'm relishing in the hope brought to me by today's reality.
Take some time to evaluate all that is around you friends. What is it that encourages you today? What is it that you can thank the Lord for providing?