By LaTonya Pratt
“Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” —Bil Keane
I love that quote! I want to live and operate within the present. However, in different seasons of life, I’ve had different responses.
On my wedding day: “Ah, it is a gift to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.”
After my parents died: “Life is such a gift; I cannot waste my time here on earth.”
The day my first son was born: “God formed his body in my own. Motherhood is a gift.”
Three years later, three kids later, it’s 2:00am, the work day starts in three hours, my baby won’t go back to sleep, my middle child has wet the bed, my oldest won’t stop coughing and has wriggled his way between my husband and me, and I’m over it. “This doesn’t feel like such a gift.”
Notice in that last scenario, I didn’t have time to think about inspiring quotes. I didn’t have time to think! I was just trying to survive. Have you ever been there? Like you were merely surviving your way through life? While it’s doable for a short season, living life in “survival mode” for a long period of time is not sustainable.
Yet Jesus offered a timeless invitation for the present, whenever and wherever that might be: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV) He also said, “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV) Another version says have it abundantly. Can you imagine? An abundant life instead of an exhausted life. Thriving instead of surviving.
I truly believe the answer to all of our questions is Jesus. When life gets hard, trust Jesus. When you are confused, seek Jesus. When you are tired, lean on Jesus. Changing your mindset changes your attitude, changing your attitude changes your priorities, and changing your priorities will ultimately change your life.
Life is hard—God knows this. He already sent Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, paving our way to abundant life. But in order to thrive in the present, we have to seek His presence—which is the very best gift we have.
1. Are you willing to seek God when times are tough?
2. What keeps you from coming to Him for rest?
3. What changes can you make to ensure you are spending time in the presence of God, so that you too can enjoy the gift of the present?