Have you ever read the devotional Streams in the Desert? This work, by L. B. Cowman, has oft refreshed my soul. She uses illustration, poetry, and comments to bring truth and encouragement. This year I am using her other devotional work, Springs in the Valley. Mrs. Cowman, and her husband, were pioneer missionaries in Japan and China from 1901 to 1917. They were forced home due to his poor health. She cared for her husband until his death six years later. Coming from her experiences and heartbreak, she writes with a biblical understanding and depth of character that touches my heart.
As 2020 approached, I began praying for direction. I have so many hopes and dreams, but feel helpless to make them happen. I found myself thinking through the night and waking tired with the prospects I had set before myself. I asked the Lord to point the way, and He answered me with this single devotion. It’s a lesson too easily forgotten, and one we need to lock within our hearts. Let me share it with you!
“There are two golden days in the week, upon which, and about which, I never worry—two carefree days, kept sacredly free from fear and apprehension.
One of these days is Yesterday; Yesterday, with its cares and frets, all its pains and aches, all its faults, mistakes, and blunders, has passed forever beyond my recall. I cannot undo an act that I wrought nor unsay a word that I said. All that it holds of my life, of wrong, regret, and sorrow, is in the hands of the Mighty Love that can bring honey out of the rock and sweetest waters out of the bitterest desert. Save for the beautiful memories—sweet and tender—that linger like the perfume of roses in the heart of that day that is gone, I have nothing to do with Yesterday. It was mine! It is God’s!
And the other day that I do not worry about is Tomorrow; Tomorrow, with all its possible adversities, its burdens, its perils, its large promise and poor performance, its failures, and mistakes, is as far beyond my mastery as its dead sister, Yesterday. It is a day of God’s. Its sun will rise in roseate splendour or behind a mask of weeping clouds—but it will rise.
Until then, the same Love and Patience that held Yesterday holds Tomorrow. Save for the star of hope that gleams forever on the brow of Tomorrow, shining with tender promise into the heart of Today, I have no possession in that unborn day of grace. All else is in the safe keeping of the Infinite Love that is higher than the stars, wider than the skies, deeper than the seas. Tomorrow is God’s day! It will be mine.!
There is left for myself, then, but one day in the week—Today. Any man can fight the battle of Today! Any woman can carry the burdens of just one day! Any man can resist the temptations of Today! Oh, friends, it is when we wilfully add the burdens of those two awful eternities—Yesterday and Tomorrow—such burdens as only the Mighty God can sustain—that we break down. It isn’t the experience of Today that drives men mad. It is the remorse for something that happened Yesterday; the dread of what Tomorrow may disclose. These are God’s days! Leave them with Him!
Therefore, I think and I do, and I journey but one day at a time! That is the easy way. That is Man’s Day. Dutifully I run my course and work my appointed task on that Day of ours. God—the All-Mighty and All-Loving—takes care of Yesterday and Tomorrow.”
May all of us live each day of 2020 with this single vision in view. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not arrived, but we can live for today. Whatever trial we face is chopped down to size when we approach it daily. Loneliness and weariness can only last for one day because His mercies are renewed every morning. Hope rises with the dawn. This is the day which the Lord hath made—we are to rejoice in it.
There is so much more that could be said about the productivity, focus, and opportunity of each day. Take time to open your Bible and do a bit of word study. You will find God’s opinion is the same—take it one day at a time!
Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days (not our yesterdays or tomorrows), that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”