Psalm 37 has become a favorite of mine in recent years, especially since early 2020. While I read this Psalm once a month, there have been so many times that I have returned to it for a sense of quenching my anxious thirsts or worrying hungers. I draw upon verse 3-4:
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
In moments of transition, which my family knows all too well and which often disturbs our sense of security, this Psalm holds as an anchor to a ship in a violent storm. While the winds beat against the sails and the ways crash against the vessel, I am re-learning what it means to be present in today as it is the day that the Lord has made. In a parallel way, I read what Jesus said according to Matthew 6:33-34 alongside Psalm 37:3-4 and I find hope for the world of tomorrow by learning to love Jesus today.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Not knowing what the future holds, I have most recently become more aware of the impact of these two different text in my life. My guess is that some of you have and still pray for me and my family. You know our hearts. You know our struggles. Your prayers have brought a profound sense of God’s known presence in my life, especially in the last couple of weeks. So what does Psalm 37:3-4 and Matthew 6:33-34 have for us today?
Today may be all we have, so let’s love and love more. For those who consider themselves a follower of Jesus Christ, I think Psalm 37 and Matt. 6:33-34 present us with such an imperative way of living: Love as Jesus loves. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past two decades of ministry it’s founded on these two text in this way:
Even in the best of circumstances and with the best collection of knowledge or intuition, we still don’t really know what is going to happen tomorrow.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan for the future, because we absolutely should. That doesn’t mean we are careless with our choices today as though they won’t impact our future, because they absolutely will. For me, though, there is a sense of relief that I don’t have to know all things today or make all of my life’s decisions today. That sort of thinking has definitely given way to much anxiety in my life, and I can’t see the mercies that God has promised for today because of the obstructing worries and fears of tomorrow.
What does all of this mean for us today? Grab a hold of something or someone and simply thank the Lord for it or them. They are real and present. I know these are unsettling days for a lot of us throughout the world, and perhaps this is an oversimplification of these two text. However, I believe strongly that God’s word is life. Sometimes life is overwhelming in various ways, and this is why I contend for a daily celebration of the Lord’s Supper, if possible. A piece of bread and a drop of wine, the body and the blood of Jesus, are signs of His presence of His provision.
I’m learning to see how precious these simple gifts of bread and wine are to us as a Church in these continued unsettled days. As I’ve been learning this and praying Psalm 37, I am starting to see how gracious and generous Jesus is with his patience, kindness, and love for me. It’s stronger and more real to me than it was 20 years ago. It may have taken 20 years to get to this point, but it’s worth it.
With life’s challenges, enjoy today. Tell someone you love them. Hold them. Enjoy every bite of whatever you eat today, as simple as it may be. Tomorrow will be here before we know it, so let’s live and love today.