I don't know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand

many things I don't understand

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? (Luke 12:25-26)

 It seems as if the world is in a constant state of worry. Joblessness and the economy take top priority today. However, we continue to worry about the war and our young men and women sacrificing their lives so we can live free. There is great concern that the government is trying to take away the freedom for which our young men and women fought and died. We suffer anxiety over the next election results and wonder if we will continue to be under control of a group striving to change our government into a nation that is far from what the Founding Fathers intended.

 Excessive worry is unhealthy and can cause insomnia and physical illness. We live with worrisome things daily in our personal lives. Do not worry about the things that might occur.

Think back to things about which you recently worried. Did they actually happen? Our focus must be on Jesus not on the things that could happen. Jesus tells us:

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!” (Luke 12:22‑34)

 Unfortunately, worry seems to come easy for me. When I slip into my worry mode, I silently repeat my paraphrased version of verses 25 and 26 to myself, “Can you change one bit of what has happened? Since you do not have control of the situation, why are you even worrying about it?” Usually, the “could happen worry” becomes a “did not happen worry.”

 In Paul’s letter to the Christian believers in Philippi, he says, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (Philippians 4:6-7, The Message).

 While countless things happen to justify worrying, God does understands our pain when a loved one dies or has a terminal illness. God understands the stress on a family when there is not enough money to meet the budget. When these things happen, turn them over to God and let him do the worrying and you do the trusting. In Matthew 11:28‑30 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 In John 13:33 Jesus told his disciples “My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.” Jesus’ disciples worried about what would happen when He was no longer with them. In John 14:1-4, Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

 Many worry because they do not know what is going to happen in the future. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” In 1950 Ira Stanphill wrote the words and music to, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.” The words of that hymn are very reassuring. The course sums it up, “Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand; but I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.”

 Randy, the host of a morning show for KFAX, a Christian radio station in San Francisco, was diagnosed with Mesothelioma two years prior to his death in 2009. Only through the grace of God did Randy, his wife and their two teenage sons endure his illness. As he shared his testimony and talked about the challenges of his cancer, he spoke of the grace and peace that can only come from the God who holds everyone’s future. He never stopped wanting to share his faith with those who were going through similar situations or other devastating challenges. He believed that sharing Christ’s suffering keeps us close to the Savior who suffered for us. Randy never gave up and never gave in; he just gave it all to the Lord who sustained him until the day he died.

 A short time before Randy died, KFAX gave him the opportunity to tell his story about how God had walked with him and Debbie and their two sons through this difficult time in their lives. He shared his feelings and thoughts about the day the doctor told him there was no cure for his type of cancer and that he would probably die within two years. Randy did not speak of fearing death or worry about dying. He spoke of praying for strength for his wife, asking God to care for her and their sons when he was gone. He told of how God had wrapped His loving arms around him and his family through the love of their friends and church family. Randy was a living testimony until the day he died because he knew that God holds tomorrow and he walked hand in hand with God. Randy and Debbie allowed Christ to displace worry in their lives and make Him the center of their being.

 “Man born of woman is of few days and full of life” (Job 14:1).

 Dear God, forgive me for being a chronic worrier. I know you hold tomorrow and I know you hold my hand. Please replace worry in my life with Christ and make Him the center of my being.