Faith & Reflection
Political unrest, global recessions, pandemics, cancer on the increase, family break-down and horrific natural disasters fill our television screens and trouble our minds.
To top it off, some are predicting the world will end in 2012! (I disagree and am mildly amused by the fact that if I’m wrong I’ll have no active critics for this view) We live in almost constant uncertainty. Is it possible to have any peace of mind in this predominantly negative, troubled and over-informed world of ours?
Several years ago, my father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. It looked like it was going to be touch and go for a while, but he responded favorably to surgery and subsequent treatment and was with us for several more years. I’d always admired his simple, straightforward honesty and Christian faith, so I looked forward to asking him how he had coped with this situation. At the time, we lived in Saskatchewan and my in-laws were in Ontario. I could have phoned, but determined to hold off on my interview with him until we could talk “eyeball to eyeball”.
When summer arrived, we drove to Ontario to visit my wife’s family. It was not long before an opportunity for a private conversation presented itself. Harold asked me if I could help him with some yard work. Once we were out on our little mission, and following a bit of small talk, I inquired, “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how did you think and feel when you considered that you may be at the end of your life?” He replied, “I don’t mind you asking. I approached that situation like all of the rest of my life since I met Jesus. Simply one day at a time, knowing that God loves me and is in control of everything.” He seemed to have total peace.
Jesus taught His disciples how to have peace saying, “…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). This is a great concept, but not necessarily simple.
I don’t think Jesus meant that today is provided for us in a vacuum. Our today’s are connected to the entire sum of our yesterdays, and tomorrow is a guiding dynamic for decisions we must make today. So, reflection on yesterday and projection for tomorrow are not prohibited, rather we are admonished not to worry about tomorrow, but to live a life of simple trust in Christ for the day we are in; “one day at a time” and this results in peace.
“And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
— Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.