My two-year-old son ran up to me, dripping wet, and said: “Daddy, this is fun.” Last summer, we spent a week visiting different attractions in Dallas. My kids were enjoying the splash pad at Legoland, and I was watching from a nearby table trying not to melt in the scorching Texas heat. As I watched them run around wildly, the thought hit me: “one day I’m going to miss this.” One day, I’m going to miss the wild antics of my young children. I’m going to miss my kids thinking daddy is the coolest. I’m going to miss the random things that come out of their mouths. One day, I’m going to miss these young years.
The irony, however, is there are times I find myself wanting to get past these young years. There are times I get frustrated when they are so dependent on me for the most basic functions of life. I can lose patience when my kids don’t stop asking questions when all I want is peace and quiet. I am short-tempered when they fight over a toy (especially one nobody wanted until someone else plays with it). In these frustrating moments, I find myself wishing they were just a little older and more mature, then life would be perfect.
As many of you know, that perfect day will never come. With each phase of life, there are new challenges and issues to deal with. That ‘perfect’ time seems just over the horizon, but when we get there, it eludes us. As the proverbial donkey continues to chase the dangling carrot, so we continue to long for that which is out of our reach. There’s nothing wrong with looking forward to what tomorrow might bring; but, we have to be careful that while we are looking forward to tomorrow, we don’t miss out on today.
For you, it may not be the young years of your children, but perhaps you are prone to wish away your high school, college, or single years. You might be looking forward to a new job or retirement; or, maybe you’re looking forward to a different relationship. There are many seasons of life and phases that we go through where this might be a temptation. What season of life are you tempted to wish away?
This Is The Day The Lord Has Made
Let us remember the encouragement of Scripture to enjoy the present. “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). While many of us sang this song as children, let us not forget this biblical truth: God has given us today as a gift. Scripture also teaches that we “are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). Our life is short, so be where you are right now, rejoice, and live each moment to the glory and praise of God.
Saying we want to enjoy today is great in theory, but it’s difficult when today is a struggle. That’s when our eyes begin looking toward another day. But, we must continually recognize that even the struggles of today are being used by God to sanctify us and purify our faith through the fiery trials (1 Peter 4:12-13). In his sovereignty, God has placed you in your current circumstances for a reason. While it’s possible tomorrow could be better than today, this is the day that the Lord has made so let us rejoice!
We rejoice because our joy is in Christ, not in our circumstances. If my ability to rejoice each day depended on my circumstances, then there would be many days I simply could not rejoice. But if it’s the case that my joy is in Christ, who is eternal and unchanging, then no matter what my day brings, I still have reason to praise.
After six years of dirty diapers, one day it’ll be nice not have to deal with them anymore, but for now, I’m going to praise God as I walk with my nose clinched to the diaper disposal. There will come a day when World War 3 won’t take place every night as I try to convince these little human beings that they have to sleep (they seem to forget from the night before). One day there will be no more playing catch, hosting tea parties, building forts, or playing Legos. So, by God’s strength, I’m going to soak up this time and see it as a gift from my Heavenly Father.
Whatever season of life you’re currently in, rejoice and be glad in it. Fight to find your joy in an unchanging Savior instead of your fluctuating circumstances. Today may not be ideal, and there may be struggles, but praise God for his good gifts knowing we don’t deserve anything, and we are not promised tomorrow.