Monday, July 5, 2010

The One Who Holds Tomorrow

I have been reading this book, “The Extreme Future” written by Dr James Canton, an American futurist. In his introduction, the writer states that one of the five factors that will define what he calls the “Extreme Future – a highly dynamic, disruptive and multidimensional future” is surprise. He further elaborates “sometimes good, sometimes difficult to imagine, surprise will become a daily feature of your life, often challenging sensibility and logic.” The beginning chapters have made interesting reading. However, these words did make me think “isn’t surprise already a daily feature of our lives since day 1?”

We live in a perishable, sinful world. It laces our lives with good and bad surprises, making life unpredictable. That is why we have the saying, “Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes” (Benjamin Franklin). Another way to look at this statement is to say that the only thing certain in life, besides death and taxes, is uncertainty and surprise. We may be resting contentedly in a good job but find ourselves surprised by the challenges posed by a globally mobile workforce that leads to our job being outsourced. We may be enjoying good health but overnight find that uncertain because of epidemiological diseases like SARS, chikungunya, etc, brought on by globally mobile neighbours. We may even be enjoying peace and harmony and yet be uncertain if it will last because of random acts of violence and terrorism.

However, although we may not know what tomorrow will bring, we know that our Heavenly Father is the one who holds tomorrow. We also know as the song goes, “he holds our hand.” Therefore rather than contemplate or feel anxious about the uncertainties of life, let us rest in the security of our position as beloved children of God. The Bible reminds us nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-38). Nothing includes things like trouble, suffering, hard times, hunger, danger, death, angels, spirits, the present or the future, etc – none of these can bring about this separation. This promise holds true even when we neglect him in fellowship and worship and fail to be true disciples. When we return to him, he is always ready to welcome us back into his ever-loving arms.

With the certainty of God’s unconditional love, in Jesus Christ, for us, we can let the God who is in charge of the universe also take full charge of our lives. You are in good hands. If there is some part of your life where God is not in full charge, something that is causing you fear and anxiety, turn them over to God because he knows best what to do with them.

The past is history. The future is in God’s hands. Therefore, what matters is for us to ensure the present counts for something. Let us live each day as an offering of worship to God, being sensitive to his beauty and grace in our lives. Let us live each day in fellowship with our brethren, being sensitive to opportunities to serve and minister to them. Let us live each day walking in discipleship, seeking opportunities to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ and to extend his kingdom. These are the things that will count in eternity. These are the things that can be achieved because of the certainty of God’s unconditional acceptance of us and his grace to uphold us. In conclusion then, we can modify Benjamin Franklin’s statement to our Christian truth – the only thing certain in life, besides death and taxes, is God’s unconditional love for us.

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