If I get caught driving behind an 18-wheeler, or one of those monster family vans, my blood pressure spikes.
I can’t see.Talk about stress! I sweat. I crane my neck to see around the blockade in front of me. I check the rear view mirrors for a chance to zip into the next lane. My death grip on the steering wheel turns my knuckles ashen. Zero visibility temporarily subdues my sanity and I become an irascible old coot aghast that another motorist would misuse my highway.
Although zero visibility is unpleasant for me, God tells us He can use those times as teachable moments. God can do great things in us when we have the right attitude about zero visibility. When we get too hung up on the future, we lose sight of what’s going on today.
Tomorrow never gets here. Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
So, why do we think we need to be ahead of the curve? Why is it so important that we know the details of what’s up ahead? For me it’s one of three circumstances: 1) I’m late getting where I’m supposed to be; 2) I’m lost (This happens a lot. I’m the poster child for losing my way. I have no sense of direction. I’ve even been lost in the WalMart parking lot. For a time I would not go to WalMart without my wife or daughter so they could remember where we parked.); and 3) it’s all about me, my priorities, my wants, my will, my flesh.
Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
But oh, can I take care of tomorrow today. I create all kinds of scenarios about how I think some situation or engagement is going to work out tomorrow. I’m college educated, you know. I’m smart. I know people. I have a minor in psychology. In some situations I think I know what someone is going to say, how they will respond to me and what the outcome will be.
In fact, I’ve kept a record of my success at predicting how things are going to turn out tomorrow. I started keeping track 687 encounters ago. You can see my success rate in the pie chart below:
God tells me in Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” We’re all familiar with Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways (and Interstates) acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”
In Jeremiah 29:11 God says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” In other words He’s telling me, “I’m way ahead of that semi in front of you. I’ve already laid out the road for you and made your path straight. But I want to be the driver, not the passenger.”
What is it about not being able to see into tomorrow (not being able to know what lies in front of that 18-wheeler in front of us) that disturbs us. I know Christians who worry themselves into migraine headaches because they fear the future. “It’s the not knowing,” they say, “that makes things so unbearable.”
Let’s get real transparent here. I simply don’t trust God all the time. I’d rather know what the future holds than know who holds my future. I’d rather let my flesh run things. I try to clear out the obstructions in my life myself, so my visibility gets closer to 100 percent than zero.
These days I trust God in most of my circumstances. As the Holy Spirit sanctifies me, as the years go by, I get less concerned about what’s ahead, then I enjoy being in His presence today. I can enter the Sabbath Rest the writer of Hebrews talks about.
I wish I trusted God all the time. I know that’s not possible; but the times I do trust Him with my life, I live my life full of gratitude and thanksgiving and joy and peace.
In my Romans 7 flesh zero visibility aggravates the stew out of me. But in my spirit zero visibility is a wonderful, peaceful, no hassle place to abide.