Monday, August 5, 2002
There's one kind of mail from the bank that nobody wants to get - you know, that notice that you've overdrawn your checking account! Especially when they sock you with a penalty for it. It can happen because you've been traveling or unusually busy, or you know, kind of cutting things pretty close financially, or just because you inadvertently wrote some checks before your recent deposit has cleared. You can't try to buy or pay before the money is there to cover it, or you'll just end up paying for that.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Overdrawing Grace."
You get in trouble when you run ahead of the deposit that you need to cover what you're doing. Especially when it's God's deposit to provide the resources you need to cover the challenge you're facing. See, He's promised He would do that - but only in daily deposits.
That's why Jesus tells us three times in the Sermon on the Mount, "Do not worry." (Matthew 6:25, 31, 34) He concludes His challenge to live without worry in our word for today from the Word of God. It's in Matthew 6:34. "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Now, Jesus portrays worrying as borrowing tomorrow's trouble before you get to tomorrow. When you do that, you overdraw God's grace deposit in your account because He puts enough in there for today, but not for tomorrow.
In Deuteronomy 33:25, God promises that "Your strength will equal your days." You get Monday's strength for Monday's burdens. If you try to run ahead emotionally to what may happen on Tuesday or Wednesday or a week from now or a month from now, you're on your own. You won't have Tuesday's grace until Tuesday. You won't have next month's grace until next month. So you're overdrawn and you don't have what you need to cover your anxiety. Worry hauls tomorrow into today. And it's just too much.
God makes this wonderful promise in Psalm 68:19 that He "daily bears our burdens." Again, His help is distributed in 24-hour increments. And those classic verses in Lamentations 3 (22, 23) remind us that His compassions "are new every morning." Today's mercies ... for today's challenges.
You may be looking ahead at something that looks totally unmanageable, unbearable, unsolvable. The strength, the grace, the wisdom that this is going to require is more than you've ever had in your life. But you've never had this much grace in your account because you've never needed this much grace before. But when you get there, God will deposit everything you need to cover the demands. However, if you insist on worrying about it today, you're running ahead of the deposit. And there's always a price to pay when you overdraw your account because you try to write the check before God's resources are there. God's grace is inexhaustible. There will always be enough - but God dispenses it in just this 24 hours.
If you're feeling overstressed and you're feeling overwhelmed today, one major reason may be that you are bringing too many of tomorrow's burdens into today. It's called worrying. And "one day at a time" is the only way God has ever prepared us to live - daily bread, daily strength, daily mercies.
So, just do today, will you? God will never let your daily need be more than the grace that He puts in your account to cover that need. If you live one day at a time, you will never overdraw His grace.