Matthew 6:34 records Jesus’ words when he said, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. As the New Year gets underway, you might find yourself constantly worrying about what the future holds. Will Covid get worse? Will the economy and inflation ever get better? Will I be able to meet the demands of my job, or will I even have a job? Will I be able to meet with my extended family again? Will our political leaders ever get their act together for the good of the country? There are all kinds of things we might be worrying about as one year ends and another begins. But Jesus says we are to stop carrying the weight of the past and to not worry over the uncertainty of the future. In essence, he tells us to focus on living our best life today.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn from the past or make goals for the future, rather, it means we should not constantly live with worry that cannot change anything. Marijohn Wilkin learned this the hard way. She grew up in Texas in a home where her parents loved the Lord and raised her well. As a teen she moved to Nashville, where she became one of the biggest names in country music, writing songs for Mel Tillis, Johnny Cash, Patti Page, Charley Pride, Patsy Cline, Glen Campbell, and many others. Despite her fame, however, Marijohn was not doing well by the time she turned 50, for she was consumed with fear about the future, which drove her to alcohol. Alcohol drove her to multiple suicide attempts. Her life was a mess.
When life finally got desperate enough, Marijohn remembered the God she left behind. She found a church and met with the minister, who opened God’s Word and directed her back to a life of faith. That’s when she realized that God didn’t make her to constantly be consumed by anxiety and fear. She went home and then wrote one of the most famous country songs of all time. Though sung by many performers in several versions through the years, the message has remained the same:
One day at a time, sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m askin’ from You
Just give me the strength to do every day what I have to do
Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus, and tomorrow may never be mine
Lord help me today, show me the way one day at a time
You cannot do anything about yesterday, and tomorrow is not yet here. The problem with worry is that it keeps you from doing what you CAN do. We can be godly in this immoral culture. We can vote. We can pray. We can be loving and kind to the people around us. We can be the best employees in our company. We can be the most faithful, prayerful church members possible. We can roll up our sleeves and work so that God’s church can be more of what he wants it to be. Worry costs us energy and effort that could otherwise be applied to living. So, let’s choose to trust the Lord today as we live one day at a time.
Happy New Year!