When I grow up, I will eat what I want when I want. When I grow up, I will not have to take naps or go to bed before I desire. When I grow up no one will tell me what to do. “And then.” You did grow up. You couldn’t always eat what you chose and sometimes you took a quick nap because you were up much of the night. Most often you craved to go to bed at the early hour you did as a child. For most adults we have more than our previous two parents telling us what to do. “And then.”
When we are out of college and find a job, when we marry and begin our family, when we make enough money to do what we desire, “then.” It seems we move from one stage of our lives to another “and then.” Each “then” comes and goes, but do you have what you desire? Do you ever have quiet, reflective days when you say, “not then but now?” I feel certain many of us have had too many of those contemplative days over these past few months, especially those of us living alone without family or friends. I know there were will be a time in the not so distant future when we will say, “but then.”
As pastors and bible study leaders often share, many of us that prayed for “then” won’t see that transpire. As Dr. Warren noted, we may have to ask God why, realizing we won’t know until we stand before Him. As I’ve so rapidly watched the decades of my life move forward, I have wished I could have “stopped” many of those “then” days; the times my children were home and I could interact with them or the times we were a family celebrating life “as one.”
Some of my days of yesteryear were memorable and joyous, but most were challenging and difficult. God knew before I was born my life would be uphill all the way. He also knew I could manage it, for He knew I would cling to His strength and His faith to move me along.
I was most appreciative of the recent kudos I received on sharing my life; those times in my life when like Dr. Warren noted, you just don’t understand. You have prayed and been faithful, but God’s answers bring so much more sorrow than you could ever have imagined.
What has allowed me to never falter in my faith is knowing that “then”, when my life ends, there will be more elation than I can possibly know. I will realize this brief life filled with so much heartache will be totally forgotten. “ Then” is what grants me the ability to keep pushing forward. These are the days I wait upon the Lord. Until “then” I truly do know who holds my tomorrows. Matthew 6:34 NKJ, “Therefore do no worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its’ own trouble.”