For some reason, my children love asking me hypothetical questions like, “Mom, what would you do if I took your phone and threw it on the floor?” Or “What would you do if I punched you in the face and ran out the door screaming?” My response is, “I don’t waste brain power on hypothetical situations.” I have enough real problems that I need to ponder and pray over. I don’t need to waste my energy on imagined problems.
But how many of us, put ourselves in hypothetical scenarios without realizing it? I’ve done it to my self ALOT. I look at a situation that someone is in and think to myself, “I can’t imagine going through that.” All the while, I’m trying to imagine how I would handle the situation. And really… I can’t. I believe that our imaginations were never meant to be used that way. Our imaginations were given to us to create, not to “see” into the future or to project ourselves into someone else’s situation.
These hypothetical problems are the cause of much of our worry. Let’s call it what it is. FEAR We waste time, and energy trying to solve a problem that isn’t really a problem. At least not yet. And we miss out on enjoying the present moment. Oh my goodness! I’ve lived so much of my life this way. I remember I used to always celebrate and enjoy good times tentatively. I’d think, ” This is too good. Something bad is going to happen soon.” So I’d walk around watching and waiting for something bad. I couldn’t even enjoy the good times fully!
Living that way caused me to have a lot of fear about what could happen. It kept me living cautiously. It prevented me from fully engaging in life. It kept me living small.
What I didn’t realize then was something that I recently heard by a woman who is in her 80’s. This statement hit me like a ton of bricks.
“There is no grace for your imagination. There is grace for your reality.”
Think about that for a moment.
When we try to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, or we imagine some possible disaster, we can’t imagine the grace that goes along with hardship. As a child of the King, my Father floods grace into my life when I need it. Not when I imagine it. And I’ll be honest, often I don’t even realize the grace that I’ve received in the moment. Sometimes, it requires me to look back in order to see it.
Not long ago I was talking to a mom who was pregnant with her second child. She was fretting over how she was going to survive when the second child arrived. The answer is simple: Grace. Grace will be waiting for you the moment you need it–if you humbly cry out for it.
Our Father is so generous. He waits for the opportunity to give us grace–when we need it. He loves to give. He’s a giving God. It’s his nature to give his children what they need. He withholds no good thing from us.
And here’s another thing about grace. You can’t store it up. You can’t take grace and put it in a storage container in order to use for the next problem. No.
Today’s grace is meant for today.
We must trust that there will be a fresh supply of grace for tomorrow. So fill up on today’s grace with no concern for tomorrow. You don’t have to budget grace.
Here’s one more reason not to worry. Our Father always has ample grace. His grace is sufficient. Its more than enough. It fully satisfies the need. It’s abundant. Overflowing. It’s inexhaustible.
Your problem won’t deplete his grace.
He’s gotcha covered!
Each day has enough challenges on its own without adding tomorrow’s challenges to it.
So let us stay fully present in this moment.
As Jesus said worrying doesn’t accomplish anything good. But it does steal the joy of this moment. It steals your energy, your focus, your time and your ability to fully engage with the people who are with you now. Deal with today’s trouble, tomorrows trouble will be there for you to deal with when you get there. But grace will also be there to carry you through.
Staying present in this moment doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan ahead.
Currently, my daughter and I preparing for a trip to Africa next week. So I’m doing lots of planning, purchasing, packing and praying. (Wow! All p’s! So clever. ) But I’m not worrying about problems. I’m doing what I can to prepare, so I don’t forget anything or stress myself out at the last minute. But I’m not worrying about, “what if that” and “what if this”. I’m not saying that the temptation isn’t there. I’m just choosing not to give in to it. The fact is: this week I’m home. My family still needs me while I’m here. I can’t be in Tanzania mentally, but physically still here in Texas. I have to be fully present here, and when we’re in Tanzania, I’ll be fully present there.
So what are your thoughts regarding Vickie’s quote? How can you stay present enjoying and filling up on the grace you’ve been given in this moment?