Last Saturday I was in Armidale for a friend's party. I planned not to be out too late given since getting out of bed in time for our 7.30am church service can be a challenge at the best of times! What I didn't plan for was the Premier's news conference.
Within a few minutes our plans for Sunday morning had to be rethought.
Face masks needed to be found or we'd face the prospect of turning people away from our services. Singing had to be cancelled. Our morning teas would need to be quickly modified to comply with the new Public Health Order.
Thankfully these changes were relatively minor and plenty of our Church family were ready help us navigate these challenges.
Yet it reminded me just how quickly our plans can change.
We tend to live as if life is going to simply roll on, each day being more or less like the one which came before. And for the most part that is what happens.
However there are occasions when life can change in a moment.
An unexpected phone call. A medical diagnosis. A tragic accident.
Sometimes the change is a welcome one which we have longed for, at other times it shatters us. Either way we are forced to live with the knowledge that while tomorrow is likely to be the same as today, it may not be.
As a Christian I take incredible confidence from knowing that neither today or tomorrow will take God by surprise.
In the sermon on the mount, Jesus said: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ..... But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Jesus wants us simply to lift our eyes to the God who does hold the future in his hands.
We may strive after the stuff of life, food, clothing, good health, a great job, financial security and so forth. Yet in the end all the work and worry in the world cannot add even an hour to our lives. On the other hand, it is God who provides for the needs of even the birds of the air.
Knowing this, Jesus wants us to look first and foremost to God. We are to seek his kingdom, that is to work at living as he would have us live, trusting that he holds the future in his hands and can still provide for our needs.
This is not a promise for an easy life. Nor is it a promise that God exists as a cosmic genie, dolling out out goodies in response to our every wish and desire. In this world each day will still have enough trouble of its own!
Rather this is an invitation to trust the God who cloths and feeds even the birds of the air, knowing that we are even more valuable to him than they are.
Daily I am reminded of how little control I really have over so much that affects my life. Yet I find enormous comfort knowing that what I can't control is in the hands of a loving heavenly Father.
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