Wanting Tomorrow

A friend who is undergoing cancer treatment is finally having a good week. He feels good, he can walk without a cane, and he actually drove a car for the first time in three months. So he went out and bought green bananas.

I love that last part. It is a glorious sign of recovery. It is a act of hope. It’s what people do when they realize they will indeed live to see another day.

I wonder how many of us are leading our lives as though tomorrow won’t come. There are times when life can beat us down so hard we don’t have the energy, resolve, or desire to even lift our head off the pillow. Sometimes this feeling is situational, and eventually gets easier. Sometimes darker things are at play and we need help.

I’m sure we can recall a very hard break up with someone we thought we would be ours forever. Relationships ending can leave us feeling tremendously defeated. If you’ve ever been fired, you might recall a moment of sitting in the car with your hands on the wheel, unable to imagine a tomorrow. At the moment when the doctor came out of the operating room and told us that our daughter had cancer when she was a college junior, I could not see her tomorrows for a moment. Not seeing hers made me not see mine. Losing your parents, a spouse, or God forbid, a child, can leave you not even wanting tomorrows.

Hebrews 11 The Message (MSG)

Faith in What We Don’t See

11 1-2 The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.

3 By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.

When tomorrows seem hazy and unattainable, it is good to remember what this verse is telling us. We have the firm foundation of a trustworthy God, which gives us a handle on what we can’t see. We can fix our feet firmly in a world called into existence by God. How amazing is it to know that God creates what we see, and what we don’t see. He is the creator of all of the tomorrows yet to comeWe don’t need to see it…God does, and that is enough.

The ancestors of our faith were content to allow their tomorrows unfold according to God’s design and will for their lives. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah…they all bought green bananas.

32-36 There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets. . . . Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. 

There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. 

Our ultimate tomorrow is found in the resurrection. There is something better. There is hope. There is a reason to get up, get moving, and get on with it. In truth, tomorrow never comes, for each tomorrow turns into today, and each day brings new mercies.

Faith is the reality of what we hope for and the proof of what we don’t see. So let us walk by faith and not by sight, and go forth to buy green bananas.

Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Wende Pritchard

The Google

Do you remember a time when you couldn’t pick up your phone to access a global source of information in a matter of seconds? We are so accustomed to having a map, dictionary, encyclopedia, calculator, instant news, weather, etc. at our finger tips, it’s no wonder we freak out when we lose our smart phones or worse, drop them in the toilet. Yes, I’ve done that. Twice.

I haven’t the foggiest notion of how “the Google” works, but I do know that you have to frame your search inquiry correctly to get the results you want. As search engines evolve and algorithms track your previous searches, it gets easier to find things out. For example, I do so many searches for scriptures that scripture references now pop up whenever I type in a few words. Alexa listens to our conversations and then an ad for that very thing magically pops up on our FaceBook feed. We are living in a time when artificial intelligence not only responds to our inquires, but actually directs our behavior. Big Brother is not just watching us, he has moved into the guest room and has commandeered the best fluffy comforter and the biggest bathroom in the house.

But none of this happens until you initiate a request for a response. You start the process by seeking something: a product, an answer, a direction…you seek, and Google finds.

I wonder if the Wisemen would have found Jesus faster if they had Google Maps and a Star Finder app.

Occasionally during the holidays you will find something that says, “Wise people still seek him.” I love that. Whenever we stretch out an arm to shade our eyes and cast our vision outward, we can easily find God. He is never far away from our presence, and longs to be found.

He can be found in the eyes of a homeless man looking for help. He can be heard in the cries of a child separated from her family at our nation’s border. He can be felt in the palm of a dying grandmother, longing for one last hand-holding with her grandson. He can be seen in the Sunday morning choir as they stand to bring their harmony into worship. God can be found in God’s people everywhere: all we have to do is look.

In seminary, a professor taught us that the Bible is God’s love letter to his people. In scripture we find not just the answers to the complexity of the world and beyond, but the Answer to everything in Christ Jesus. The Old Testament is the search. The New Testament brings the answer.

Hebrews 11 The Message (MSG)

11 1-2 The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.

3 By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.

6 And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.

Anyone who wants to approach God must believe that he cares enough to respond to those who SEEK him. Ask, knock, and seek, and you will find.

Psalm 105 English Standard Version (ESV)

1 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;

    make known his deeds among the peoples!

2  Sing to him, sing praises to him;

    tell of all his wondrous works!

3  Glory in his holy name;

    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

4 Seek the Lord and his strength;

    seek his presence continually!

Got questions? Need answers? Feeling empty, and long to be made full? Seek God today. He will be found.

Layers of Light by Michelle Robertson.