Take Life One Day at a Time
Life tends to move in seasons. Some seasons are filled with joy, like the honeymoon of newlyweds or the birth of a child. Some are filled with adventure, like a trip across the world or the start of a new career. And some are filled with pain, like the loss of a loved one or the regret of a life-destroying decision. Over time, we all travel through the various ups and downs that life throws our way. Yet what happens very often is that when someone is in the midst of a down, it can be easy to forget that it is just a season and not a permanent state. In the heartache, the loss, the regret, the loneliness, or the pain, one can sometimes no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel. It feels like the walls are closing in without mercy. The joy of previous life seasons look like tiny dots in the rearview mirror. In the midst of the storm, one can easily lose hope. “There’s no end in sight,” you might think. “How can I possibly go on?”
I think many people have been here at one point or another. Or, perhaps, this is where you are right now. The will to go on is weakened, and the strength to want to is fading fast. What is a person to do during such a time?
The answer: Rely on God’s grace, one day at a time.
Renewed Day by Day
You see, it is so easy to feel the crushing weight of the difficulties you are facing, know that they won’t be going away any time soon, and wonder, “How can I carry this weight for that long? I’m not sure I can even make it through today.” This kind of thinking is sure to defeat us. In fact, it only adds to the problem, because we were not designed to worry about tomorrow. We were made to take life one day at a time. The truth is, you don’t have to make it though tomorrow. You only have to make it through today. God will give you what you need tomorrow when tomorrow comes.
Listen to the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:16…
 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
One of the keys to not losing heart is to be renewed “day by day”. Like Paul, our outer selves are wasting away. In other words, all of us are merely human. Our own strength is fading, our bodies are wasting away, our resources for living are draining from us like a leaky faucet. We are only getting weaker every day. So how do we overcome this? Through the inward renewal of the Holy Spirit! For the believer, God’s grace is dispensed in our lives through the Spirit’s presence in our souls. As our bodies waste away, our inner selves are being made new. This happens not once for eternity, but “day by day”.
This “day by day” provision is no small note. One day our renewal will be made permanent – the day we land in heaven and obtain our perfected, ever-strong resurrected bodies. One day we will no longer need renewal because we will be made new for good. But until then, while we remain on earth, our renewal is a day-to-day process. This means, in part, that we don’t need to worry about how we will make it through tomorrow. We will get the renewal we need for tomorrow when tomorrow comes. Until then, we live in the strength God has supplied for us today.
Daily Bread and Morning Mercies
The daily dispensing of grace from God is shown all over the Bible. Think, for example, about how Jesus taught his followers to pray, which included the request to…
Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11)
Jesus didn’t teach us to pray for a lifetime supply of bread. He never wanted us to ask for an unending supply. Instead, we are to pray daily for the provision we need. And tomorrow, we will do it all over again! God wants us to take it one day at a time.
Consider also Lamentations 3:22-23…
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning…
God’s love and mercy are limitless, yet he does not give them all at once. Instead, they are revealed afresh with each rising of the sun. Every dawn, God gives us a new beginning, the grace that we will need to face whatever that day has in store for us…nothing more, nothing less. He supplies “all our needs according to his riches in glory,” and this happens each day for whatever that day holds.
Jesus stressed that we are not to live worrying about the future, but instead live in the present. He says in Matthew 6:34…
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
In this way, Christ is encouraging us not to worry about how we will have enough to make it through tomorrow. The truth is that you don’t have enough to make it through tomorrow. But you do have enough to make it through today, and what you need for tomorrow will be waiting for you when you get there. Have faith!
God is Building Our Faith
I believe this is the principle that God was teaching the Israelites as they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. In Exodus 16, we see that these starving nomads are miraculously fed by God in the middle of the desert. Each morning, God would send a supply of a heavenly bread called “manna” with the dew. The Israelites were to go out and collect what they needed for that day and no more. It was discovered that, if anyone kept extra manna for the following day, it spoiled overnight and became full of maggots. In this way, God was teaching his people a valuable lesson: I will take care of you, but you need to trust me.
God is your heavenly Father. He loves you and knows what you need before you even ask of Him. He will take care of you. He will give you the grace you need. But remember that this is a daily provision. Like a car with a limited tank of gas, you will need to go back for refuelling. God is our provider, and he has grace for every circumstance we will face. But we don’t get that grace until it is needed. This is God’s way of teaching us to rely on him – not like some sick game, but rather for our increasing joy in him.
Let me encourage you to take your life one day at a time. Whatever you may be facing, wherever you are, and however beat down you may feel, God has it taken care of. You need only worry about getting through today. God has got you covered for tomorrow. Meet him anew each morning with the rising of the sun, and find the mercy you require in time of need.