I love the word now. Every time we say now, it’s “now“. Get it? Just say it a few times and think about it being now when saying it. It’s always now! Along with now, I love the word today. For almost the same reason… it’s always today! It’s never tomorrow, or yesterday, but ALWAYS today!
Many years ago, a pastor from Sri Lanka spoke at our church. His message consisted primarily of two phrases. He said, “Today is the day and now is the time!” He had taken the idea from a scripture found in 2Cor. 6:2
“For He says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ ‘I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
Several years prior to hearing this message, my life had taken a very dramatic turn. Don and I and our two small children had moved 16 months earlier to assume an Associate Pastor’s position in western Nebraska. I was starting the fifth month of my third pregnancy and carrying twins. Problems with the twins and early labor had put me on bed-rest. It was near the end of January with a due date in late May. I was upset!
We hired a sweet elderly lady to “nanny” the kids during the day while I stayed in my bed. I would hear my little boy and girl playing downstairs, or struggling to get along with each other, and tears would stream down my face. This was not the plan I had in mind when I learned I was carrying twins. For the first week, I could not even think about being in bed all day, every day for the next four months. Just the thought of it caused me to feel anxious and overwrought or to weep inconsolably.
One morning while reading my Bible I decided to read the section in Matthew where Jesus teaches about not worrying. I knew the verses, but also knew I needed to read them again and take them to heart. The latter part of Matthew 6 helped me turn my thoughts toward Jesus, but it was the very last verse that jumped off the page and into my heart.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I got it! Suddenly, I understood exactly HOW I could make it through the next four months. I only had to focus on today! Today, I could pull my kids into my bed and read to them, watch t.v. or play games with them. Today, I could open my newspaper or my church directory and pray for the people in my church and community. Today I could read and study my bible, so I could encourage others who came by to see me.
Today, I could decide to ask anyone who came to see me what their greatest prayer concern was — because I needed to pray for others rather than focus on my problem pregnancy. (That question alone, led to some of the deepest conversations and most wonderful prayer times with others!)
So on the day Pastor Colton, from Sri Lanka stated, “Today is the day! Now is the time!” I knew exactly what he meant! Today IS the day and now IS the time… to make a difference….to be there for others, to smile at someone who’s lonely, to love the unlovable, to make it right with anyone we’ve offended, to love our siblings, to kiss our husbands and snuggle our kids or grandkids!
Back when I learned that lesson, I honestly couldn’t look ahead without freaking out, so living NOW was a necessity for my survival. But, now…today… it’s just as important to continue to live it!
Because it’s really all we have….we only have TODAY!