Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
When Dale Carnegie wrote his book entitled How To Stop Worrying and Start Living, he said its purpose was not to tell you something new but to remind you what you already knew and to kick you in the shins and inspire you to do something about applying it. (Forgive my nit‑picking, but the only thing a kick in the shins ever did for me was to cause me to take a couple of quick steps backwards).
A few thoughts on worry, however, may do as Carnegie intended to do‑‑remind you to do something about a problem whose solution you are fully aware of. But just to STOP WORRYING and START LIVING is not as easy as backing up from a swift kick‑‑ whether it is in the shins or elsewhere.
Most of the time we worry about things that we absolutely cannot change; if we could, we would. I was thinking about it this week in relation to our ministry.
As I was bouncing along in a bus on my way to a speaking engagement, I was thinking of worry and its futility in light of God's grace and His ability to provide for our needs. "Worry," I thought, "is nothing less than exhausting tomorrow's grace on today's burden." Then I started thinking about my definition. "Yeah," I said to myself, "that's good!" Worry is exhausting tomorrow's grace on today's burden.
Jesus reproved the disciples when they were concerned beyond measure for the future. He rebuked them and called them, "Faithless!" Jesus said, "Take no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Matthew 6:34). He had just told the disciples that our heavenly Father knows what we need even before we ask (Matthew 6:8) and that we are to ask Him only for today's bread. Worry exhausts tomorrow's grace on today's burden.
There is another way that we exhaust tomorrow's grace on today's burden and that is when we bear tomorrow's load today through overwork. Of the some 10,000 plus commentaries which have been released on Guidelines, among the top three of four in terms of responses has been the series I produced on "burn‑out" and its effect on our lives. That series resulted in the greatest flood of response we have yet seen. The messages which came from all over the world seemed to draw a picture of so many people who have pushed and pushed until there is no push left. They are frustrated, irritated and tired. Whether you live in the big city or a small barrio or town we feel like we are saying yes to more things and saying no to fewer. We also exhaust tomorrow's grace on today's burden when we bear loads which God never intended us to bear.
In either case something is fundamentally wrong when we live beyond today, for today is the only part of eternity we can really claim as ours. God wants you to live for today and put the future in His hands. Our Lord was very clear when He said, "Come unto me all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Peter wrote that we are to cast all our care upon Him, for He cares for you (I Peter 5:7). How about it? Are you guilty of exhausting tomorrow's grace on today's burden? Then take inventory with me and learn to live today to the glory of God, and rest in the assurance that He holds the future. Today's grace is sufficient for today’s burden; and let’s leave tomorrow in His hands‑‑today.
Resource reading: Matthew 6.