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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thinking Forward

Just a brief thought today. I continue to enjoy my read through The Shack. At my current pace of 5 or 10 minutes before bed, I'll have this baby wrapped up by January. Which means it could be the subject of many posts! :-)

In a recent chapter, the main character Mac is again having a conversation with God, and the personification of God (a lovable, plump, black woman) asks Mac where he lives: in the past, the present, or the future. God is making the point that he/she is with him at all times, but particularly in the present. What comes out of this conversation, however, is an awareness for Mac that much of his life is spent in worry and fear over the future. God is aware of this, and points out that while Mac thinks about the future, he almost never imagines God there with him. This future without the presence of God is filled with worries and doubts. But God tries to emphasize that his presence will be with Mac even there.

I've been considering how I think about the future since reading this. I believe that I too, like Mac, often look forward and have fear and worry about what will happen. I imagine a difficult meeting coming up, or a challenging problem that needs to be addressed, and my fear over that future issue begins to rob me of joy and life today in the present. And when I imagine this future, I rarely if ever recognize that God will be with me even then.

And yet I know God is with me now. His presence and his life make a huge difference in the way I view the world. When I look back, I can identify over and over how I have seen God with me through both trials and victories. Yet when I look forward, God is often strangely absent.

Now, I know this isn't an issue with God. God is in my future. This is an issue of my heart and my mind not trusting Him beyond today. And so over the last few days, as I've thought of things to come, I have tried very hard to imagine that God will be there with me. I am surprised at how such a simple realization has brought greater peace to my mind.

God is with you today. But he is also with you tomorrow and in all that will come. Don't allow the joy of today to be robbed by the fears of tomorrow. God will be with you then, and He is Good. Trust in Him for all your tomorrows.

May you know a journey free from fear,

Nick

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