“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

The Uncertainty of Tomorrow

(Please read James 4:13-15)

January 25

Our text presents an interesting outline of plans like those we make every day. We presume that tomorrow we will still be alive and our expectations will come to pass without difficulty. If we expect, as in James’ example, to go somewhere, we assume that the car will start or the plane will fly and accidents won’t interfere. As for spending “a year” there, we may pause to think of circumstances possibly interfering with that long-range plan. But, like the persons James imagined, we really hope to make some good money after a move like that.

Well, in recent years a lot of people learned the hard way that long-established plans can be changed quickly, as many folks saw much of their savings somehow vanish overnight. The economic crash was further evidence that poet Robert Burns was right when he wrote, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/ Gang aft agley.” (Those last three words are often paraphrased as “go often wrong.”)

James didn’t mean that it’s wrong to plan. That would contradict Bible teaching about such things as providing for our families, rearing children, even farming and waiting for crops. But we must not leave God out of our plans. We should remember that life is short, that each day is a gift from God, and that any future we have is contingent on God’s will. If things materialize the way we hope, accept that as God’s gift. But if our plans don’t work out, bow graciously to His will.

Today is all we have for sure. Let’s thank God for it and use it wisely.

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