I’m sure that every person has a different approach to writing about their faith. For me, I pray and listen. I usually look inward at what I’m struggling with (because I am, after all, a teacher too, you know). And then when I have a general direction, I open my Bible to see what God has to say about it.
For days, I’ve been thinking God’s nudging this month was focused on spiritual warfare. But while I was reading in the Word this morning, I just kept being hit with thoughts of living life one day at a time. And I couldn’t marry the two ideas together. I figured they would wind up being two separate posts. That is, until I was going through the daily routine of emptying the dishwasher. It hit me: maybe Jesus continually reminds us to live life one day at a time because our daily walk is a weapon against the attacks of the enemy.
Hold up, teacher friends, let me unpack my brain here for a second. Looking around at our lives, students, and schools right now there are a million and one reasons to live in a constant state of worry and fear. Most of those fears come from the uncertainties of the future. We just do not know what tomorrow will hold, what next week will bring, or what next month will look like. There are already memes circulating about 2021 being even more of a disaster than 2020.
We know from scripture that fear is not of God. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
I believe, without a doubt, the enemy wants our thoughts on the future and the unknown. I believe the enemy wants us to fear the uncertainty of it all. I believe the enemy wants that fear to control us. I believe that control can manifest in anger, in resentment, in panic, in spiritual stagnation, and in any number of other things that can pull us toward the world and away from our God.
But Jesus teaches another way. And I believe what He says is a weapon against the enemy, against fear, and against worry.
For example, Luke 12:13-21 is a parable Jesus teaches about a rich man, preparing for the future, making plans to build larger barns to store his plentiful harvest so he will have security for years. And Jesus explains, “God says, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’” In other words: one day at a time, friend.
When teaching the disciples to pray Jesus says, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3).
In this same lesson Jesus continues, “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Luke 12:25).
I was on the phone with my mom just yesterday, and we were talking about how out of sorts things are, and I simply said, “All we can do is take these 24 hours and live them the best we can.”
Friends, when looking ahead at the spring semester, or the entirety of 2021, it is easy to be pulled into a storm of fear. But, take heart in the words of our Savior. Don’t look that far. Take this semester, this year, and this life one day at a time. Make each hour count for Jesus. Tackle anything that arises as it comes. And be ready to accept the good, as well! Use each day to look for the goodness of God because it’s there.
Changing our thinking like this will guard us from an attack from the enemy and allow us to live fully in the presence of God. This mindset will bring peace and joy that will spill over into our classrooms and our students (who are most assuredly filled with anxieties about the future). Who knew our daily bread is really a sword? Use it well.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).