Joy in the Present

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body, and knit them together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous - and how well I know it. You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book!

How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can't even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me! Psalm 139:13-18 (TLB)

Don't long for "the good old days," for you don't know whether they were any better than these! Ecclesiastes 7:10 (TLB)

Monica A. Andermann lives in New York. She found herself longing for "the good old days." Her radio was regularly tuned to an oldie station, she watched old reruns episodes on TV, and she frequently griped about the large chain stores sprouting up in her neighborhood. When her usual market was replaced by a chain store, she stopped in to shop. Once inside, Monica discovered the joys of its increased selection and wider aisles. This pleasant discovery led her to try some different radio and TV stations, only to find she enjoyed many of their programs as well. Oh, what she had been missing by trying to live in the past!

It's easy to cling to the comfort and familiarity of the past, but in doing so we can lose our enthusiasm for the present and hope for the future. In today's reading, the psalmist assures us that God wrote our days before they existed. God knows our past and present, and God will be by our side in the future. When we avoid moving forward, we may miss the blessings God has in store for us.

Following God's will for Monica to live in the present has expanded her joy and made her a better instrument of God's love. Daily, she asks, "What new experiences can I embrace today?" That is a good question for each of us to ask also, even if the day feels scary.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we trust you with all our days - past, present, and future. May we live each day in joyful service to you. May we open our minds and hearts to change, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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