This spring my daughter Grace and I had the opportunity to visit Ireland. We were touring the city of Dublin and decided to visit the National Gallery, mostly to view their most famous painting, Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ. When we found the correct wing of the museum, we saw a series of open doorways leading to room after room, with a painting at the very end. We concluded the painting must be Caravaggio’s so we quickly headed down the long hallway, bypassing every room. When we arrived at the end, we realized it wasn’t the painting we were looking for and discovered that we had missed it. We began walking back through the rooms, more slowly this time, and after finding and viewing Caravaggio’s painting, we took our time browsing through each room, marveling at the beautiful art and treasures they held.
On the bus later that day, I was looking at the picture I took of that hallway and thought how it reminded me of life—rooms or days leading to the end, which will actually be the beginning of our real story, as C.S. Lewis puts it, when we will be with Christ. Two thoughts came to mind as I looked at that picture. How often do we rush through each day, even longing for the day to pass because of a difficulty or trial? If this would only end, then life would be better. At the same time, we can sometimes get caught up in the day to day and forget about the glorious future to come.
It also reminded me of how we sometimes fear tomorrow. Just as we didn’t know what each room held, we do not know what each day holds. James 4:14 verifies this: “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.” We worry, fret, become anxious, and fear the unknown, often anticipating every worst scenario. We fear loss—of a spouse, a marriage, a child, a job, our health, our reputation. We don’t know what tomorrow holds and we usually can’t control what it will bring.
In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6, Jesus exhorts us not to worry or be anxious about what we will eat or drink or about our clothes. He gently reminds us that He cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. He knows our needs and loves us. And He is God, our Creator, our Sustainer, our Savior. He not only knows our needs better than we do, but He has promised and is able to care for our needs (I Peter 5:7). He is not only in Heaven preparing a place for us, but He is already in every tomorrow we will face. He knows what each tomorrow holds.
On a plaque in our home is a quote from the last line of a journal which belonged to Greg’s great-great grandfather, Benjamin Deckert. It says, “My life is secure in God’s hands.” Isn’t this a terrific antidote to worry? His words echo the Psalmist in 31:15, “My times are in your hands.”
Randy Alcorn said, “Worry is momentary atheism crying out for correction by trust in a good and sovereign God.” This makes me think of the words to the Sovereign Grace song, “Behold Our God,” which I love and which point to the One in whom we can place our trust.
Who has held the oceans in His hand? Who has numbered every grain of sand? Kings and nations tremble at his voice. All creation rises to rejoice.
Who has given counsel to the Lord? Who can question any of his words? Who can teach the one who knows all things? Who can fathom all his wondrous deeds?
Who has felt the nails upon his hands? Bearing all the guilt of sinful man? God eternal, humbled to the grave. Jesus, Savior, risen now to reign!
Those are the hands our lives are secure in! We can trust Him! He is there waiting for us and He will be with us, no matter what each tomorrow brings.