It is not the cares of today, but the cares of tomorrow, that weigh a man down. For the needs of today we have corresponding strength given. For the morrow we are told to trust. It is not ours yet. It is when tomorrow’s burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear. –George McDonald, author and pastor
Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. . . . Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.” Genesis 22:6-8, 13-14 (NASB)
Who knows what was going through Abraham’s mind as he walked with his son toward the designated site of sacrifice? How surreal it must have felt! The same God who had brought Abraham a promised son through twenty-five years of trial and waiting was now calling him to sacrifice his beloved Isaac as a burnt offering. To make matters all the worse, the young man had to carry the wood for his own sacrificial fire! Abraham is the father of our faith for very good reason. Even though the scenario made no logical sense, he trusted that his covenant God would work everything out in the end—and He did.
Carrying the Cares of Tomorrow
How much grief do we put ourselves (and others) through over fears that never come to pass? How much unnecessary weight do we attempt to carry through rigorous territory? Navigating the treacherous expanse of a wilderness experience is difficult enough within itself. Carrying The Cares of Tomorrow makes a successful outcome to the journey virtually impossible.
If you have ever been to a tractor pull at a state fair, in addition to the deafening noise and acrid smoke polluting the air, you’ll notice that the tractors pull a sled on which are mounted a system of weights. The further the tandem goes, the heavier the weights become until the huge wheels lose traction and the tractor bogs down. In a similar vein, our sense of exhaustion is multiplied as we carry not only the today’s burdens but those of tomorrow as well. God gives us grace to face the burdens of today only; tomorrow’s needs belong to Him.
Why do we try to carry tomorrow’s burdens? Simply put, the answer is fear. We don’t believe that our heavenly Father will work things out in a favorable manner. We attempt to usurp control of what belongs to God; the foolish reasoning of our hearts convincing us that we can bring about a better outcome. It all sounds quite silly when we take the time to think about it, but those who have experienced considerable pain and hardship don’t always think logically.
We live in a fallen world. Pain and difficulty are inevitable. Anyone who says differently is conveniently ignoring the full message of Christ. Still, from before the foundation of the world, our loving, faithful God prepared the answer to our every need. He looks after the details—even the small ones—in ways beyond our comprehension.
Yes, we will face times of extreme difficulty as we journey through this life, but He always provides the abundant grace needed to handle the challenges of each and every day. It is only when we attempt to carry The Cares of Tomorrow that we lose the strength to effectively live for Christ today.
The Lord did indeed provide a sacrificial ram for Abraham on that fateful day. Many years later, He provided the Lamb of God as a sacrifice for all sin so that we each might have the opportunity to become God’s covenant children. If our Father loved us enough to go to such extremes, we can be sure that every other need along the way will be met in its time.
This post is drawn from Chapter Thirty-Three of Bob’s devotional: Champions in the Wilderness—Fifty-Two Devotions to Guide and Strengthen Emerging Overcomers