I read them while I stood at the counter, paying my bill…
I had been awake since 3:30 that morning, in the semi-conscious state that leaves you awake enough to rehearse everything that might ever go wrong, but not awake enough to pray and remember God’s faithfulness.
In the dark I’d reviewed it all. How we’ve been out of our house for a whole year now, and still haven’t run out of delays and permits to keep us from even breaking ground on our new house. How all the unexpecteds we know about so far have already put us over budget. How business is slumping right at a time when we need it to boom. How our church body — such a source of strength and encouragement for the past 28 years — is weathering some incredibly difficult trials.. How our nation’s leaders increasingly call right wrong and wrong right, and how we face hopeless-looking prospects as our elections quickly draw near.
What will the future hold? Will we actually get an entire house built, or will we run out of money before it’s finished? Are we doing the right thing building at all? Will the business survive as we seek to reorient after all the chaos of moving and illness over the past year? Will our church fall apart, right when we are finally ten minutes away from it instead the hour distance we drove for twenty years? Will the government become so oppressive that we lose — or give away — our most basic freedoms?
So many worries, so many wild thoughts raced through my should-have-been-sleeping mind. It seemed to me, in the darkness of that hour, that God had taken our peaceful, orderly lives, turned them upside down, and shaken out everything that has ever seemed predictable in the past. We have no idea what the future holds.
But then have we ever actually known what the future holds? We don’t have any control over the future. Only God does. Our loving, powerful, all-knowing God has it all under control, even when we finally realize that we don’t.
Eventually I woke up enough to remember God’s faithfulness, His promises, His Words to us, His control. I recalled the words of Psalm 42, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation.”
I don’t have to worry about the future. In fact, it’s a complete waste of time and energy, because my worrying won’t change a thing. I can trust God.
Later, in the light of day, He reminded me of this again as the receptionist processed my payment. There they were, taped to the side of a file cabinet. The words of Corrie ten Boom, a woman who chose to trust God when she didn’t know from one day to the next if she would even be alive.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
I don’t know the future. But I know God, and I know He’s never failed me. He won’t start now.
This post originally appeared on the Doorposts blog and was used with permission.
Pam Forster is mother to six grown children, and has been married to her husband John for 34 years. Pam has always loved studying the Bible and sharing that love with others. Long ago, while desperately trying to keep three crazy little boys in line, she discovered that the Bible had a wealth of answers to her child-training questions. The fruits of her study include For Instruction in Righteousness, the Bible Study for Busy Mamas series, and other books from Doorposts Publishing. Her Busy Mamas Bible Studies have led to the new Mamas Refill membership site.
When Pam isn’t writing, she plays the piano for church, enjoys calligraphy, watercolor, and gardening, tries to keep up with all her adult children, and enjoys hugs and kisses from her seven delightful grandchildren. She spoke at Women Encouraged 2015 and has been an enormous source of encouragement to the Women Encouraged team and community over the last few years.