“Day by day” the promise reads; Daily strength for daily needs: Cast foreboding fears away, Take the manna of to-day. Josiah Conder 1836
The word foreboding has to do with the future, our dread of what lies ahead. Such fears and worries don’t necessarily have to be about big things. For example, when I first began teaching high school students five days a week, I was always filled with foreboding on Sundays. The idea of having to get up and go back to work on Monday destroyed whatever joy might be found. Eventually I did learn how to manage this routine dread of my job by telling myself, “Monday’s not here yet. I don’t have to think about it right now because it’s not here yet.” But other “foreboding fears” aren’t so easy to dismiss. Certainly some upcoming medical procedures haunt us with anxiety. Or we might be dreading weather, as in a tornado season. Perhaps we’re fearing job loss or losing our home. These future fears, these unsettling possibilities, just hang out there, blocking the horizon, darkening our path forward.
The way I got through the time of my divorce, and the way I still try to live my life, is by constantly reminding myself to stay within the day. How things will be tomorrow or next week or next year aren’t mine to carry. God supplies the strength “daily” for the needs we encounter “daily.” His is not a storeroom of piled up strength just in case we need it!
Certainly the disciples felt some “foreboding fears” over what was to come when Jesus left them. And yet he told them, “But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.” The same Lord who was walking and talking with them in that present moment was still going to be there when they needed him, supporting each one of them with “words” and “wisdom” (NIV Luke 21:14-15). I’ve always felt this to be a comforting promise for each of us as well.