To live in the moment is very easy to do. Things are constantly changing and with so many things demanding our time and attention, it seems there is always something immediate to think or worry about. Sometimes it is like trying to fill twelve holes with ten fingers. Most people who have tried it would agree that doing so can be very stressful and it doesn’t work. Medical science tells us that stress is harmful to our overall well-being. Among its symptoms are headaches, backaches, neck pain, depletion of energy, aggravation of peptic ulcers, and memory disturbances, to name a few. Definitely, not good!
The reality is that we do have to live in the moment and while we cannot always control what happens in the moment, the degree to which we allow things to impact us is what we can control. One way to do this when we’re challenged by the events of the moment is to look at the big picture. This was the principle Jesus applied when He told the disciples, “Therefore I tell you, ‘stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?'” (Matthew 6:25-26, AMP). In other words, as Bible scholar Adam Clarke observes, “Can He who gave us our body, and breathed into it the breath of life, before we could ask them from Him, refuse us that which is necessary to preserve both, and when we ask it in humble confidence?” I would suggest that such an approach can be applied to any area of our lives. No matter what we are faced with, it fades into insignificance in the light of God’s inexhaustible provision.
Despite knowing that fact, most of us are like the apostle Peter. When Jesus challenged him, in the middle of a storm on the Sea of Galilee, to step out of the boat, Matthew tells us, “But when he saw [the effects of] the wind, he was frightened, and he began to sink, and he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!'” (14:30). He was overwhelmed by the moment, but in the midst of his anxiety and despair “immediately Jesus extended His hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'” (v.31). It is important to note that Jesus did not reprimand him for the anxiety he felt; He reprimanded him for his lack of faith in the moment and in allowing the anxiety he felt to overwhelm him.
It takes faith in God to live in the moment because to survive the moments we have to keep our eyes on the big picture. Just because we are confused doesn’t mean God is confused, or that He doesn’t know what to do. When faced with confusing situations and their feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and fear, it helps to remember that God is still in control; that if His eyes are on the sparrows we can rest assured that He also watches over us. Not only that but He has a vested interest in us and gets no glory out of our failing. Since He created the universe out of nothing, He is more than capable of helping us handle our moments. Faith, in your challenging moments, how much of it do you use? How much of the big picture do you see?