Right at the beginning of the Bible, when God is running around making the earth and stuff, one of the first things He does is place the sun and moon in the sky, dividing the way we will experience life into the 24-hour chunks we call days.
Why do you suppose He did that? Was it some sort of arbitrary decision? (“Hmm, how long should we make a day? I know, let’s all 3 of us put our favorite number in a hat, and whichever number we pick…”)
Well, I don’t think it was random or arbitrary. God had a plan to create us, and He knew we would only be able to carry one day’s worth of burdens before we would need to rest and rejuvenate. He also intended that this rejuvenation would require us to turn to Him each and every day. This was His plan–that we would need Him for strength and nourishment, and He would freely give it, whenever we ask.
But only for one day.
There is abundant evidence of this throughout the Bible. He gave the Israelites manna to eat when they were wandering in the desert, but they could only gather enough for one day. When Jesus gave us an example of how to pray, he modeled the idea that we need to ask for sustenance every day:
“Today,” and “Daily bread”. Also, there are plenty of reminders that God helps us carry our burdens day after day–not in any bigger chunks than that. He gives us our strength in daily doses.
Sometimes life is a struggle, like a difficult workout. One good analogy is a local hike known as the Manitou Incline. It’s “only” about 1 mile, but it seems at times to be nearly vertical. There are railroad ties arranged as steps–about 2744 of them–enabling you to ascend about 2000 vertical feet in that “only a mile”. And keep in mind, you start at an elevation of 6500 feet (about 1300 feet higher than Denver) and end at an elevation of about 8590 feet. It takes “normal” people an hour or two to make it to the top, although the record for the fastest time up was set by Joseph Gray in 2015–he made it in 17 minutes and 45 seconds (I know, it makes you want to punch him…if only you could catch him!)
I have done this several times. No matter how fit I am, by the time I’m about 3/4 of the way to the top, it starts to feel like I’m not going to make it. The sun’s baking down on me, feeling light-headed, maybe a little dizzy, questioning my sanity… So then I start to make little deals with myself: I don’t have to make it to the top, I just have to go up one more step. When I do that, I find I have a little more left in me, so I repeat the deal.
Just one more step.
And then another and another. Next thing I know, I’m at the top.
That’s how God nourishes and strengthens us–He gives us just enough to get through this day, and no more.
When tomorrow becomes today, He’ll give us just enough strength to get through that one more day. And then one more after that.
But then again, we don’t need to worry about that day after that, at least not until it becomes today.
This is how we live in the moment, built on a foundation of trusting that God is enough, and He will provide. It’s how we live life well, walking with God, allowing Him to lead us through our darkest days and basking in His illumination of the brightest ones.