“Don’t borrow trouble from tomorrow.” That’s what my grandma used to say. She passed it on to my dad. And now I’m saying it, at least to myself.
I’m a planner. I like my daily life to be predictable, which tends to keep my stress confined to unforeseen events. And sometimes that means I try to plan tomorrow and the next day and so on, and the troubles of those days seep into my today like an undetectable poison. Suddenly I find myself on the verge of a panic attack and I can’t figure out why. Go figure.
Maybe you’re not a planner. Maybe you like to live in the moment—see what happens. I have friends like that. They find joy in the spontaneous. Humor in the unexpected. I’m glad people like these exist to balance me out. But there are worry-warts among you folks as well.
The reality is, as responsible adults, we have valid problems to solve. We have issues that can bring concern. But the danger comes when we start letting our minds spin down the eddies of “what if?” questions (of the negative sort).
I know I’m not the only one who’s done this. “What if’s” can vary from the absurd and inconsequential to the really heavy anxieties of the heart. And they can keep us from doing things we should do. They can keep us from having peace.
What if our guests don’t like my cooking and then they never come back again? (ME. Yikes!)
What if I say one word that screws up my kid’s entire life and I don’t even know it?
What if I hate my classes half way through graduate school and I’m already $50K deep in loans?
What if I decide to buy that house and then I lose my job?
What if I don’t like the kid I decide to adopt?
What if I have a miscarriage?
I’m not suggesting we don’t think about potential consequences to our actions. That is obviously smart. But it’s choosing to worry about potential outcomes we have no control over that gets dangerous. This is what I’m talking about when I say “tomorrow’s troubles”. They’re fiction. They are in the future. They don’t exist yet. Or possibly ever. And allowing them to be invited into our here-and-now is a tactic from the enemy. It taints our present and weighs us down with a load comprised of fear.
That is not of God.
Perfect love casts out all fear, and our God is perfect love. We are to cast our cares on him. If we are His, He will not let us walk alone. The Holy Spirit will counsel you. Comfort you. Convict you. If he has led you or given you the mind to walk into the graduate degree, buy that house, contact that adoption agency, pursue pregnancy, etc., He will see you through whatever ride that path takes you on.
The bottom line is in a choice of trust. Trust God with our choices and life, or trust the fear usurping His throne in our lives. When we allow fear to guide our plans, diving into the “what if’s” and choosing imaginary troubles, we make the plan the idol and the replacement for our trust in God.
God is one hundred percent faithful. In all situations. In all times. Ask Him to help you make wise choices and trust Him with tomorrow. He’s the only one who knows what lies in it anyway.