When our children were small, we had a tradition of sorts, at our house. Every Sunday evening, my wife would break out the waffle iron, and prepare batter. She’d slice bowls of different kinds of fruit, set the syrup on the table, along with several kinds of homemade jam she had canned herself. She’d set the jar of peanut butter on the table, too, just for me, because I like peanut butter on my waffles.
Our entire family looked forward to my wife’s faithfulness and provision on what we called Waffle Nights. Her loving preparations helped create wonderful food, coupled with warm and meaningful memories. My boys and I naturally came to assume that Sunday nights were waffle nights.
We always had waffles on Sunday nights.
But that is not to say that we were ‘presumptuous.’ I would never want my sons to presume upon the good and loving intentions of their mother. She didn’t ‘owe us’ a waffle. We enjoyed the benefits of her love because she loved to make us happy. If we showed up at the kitchen table, plates and silverware in hand, waiting as if my wife was somehow duty-bound to cook for us, it would be most rude and presumptuous, indeed.
One of the things most of us are really good at is something called ‘assuming. In fact, trying to live Tomorrow before it gets here is about assuming, I think. I assume I’ll feel as good Tomorrow as I do Today. I’ve got a ton of stuff I need to do, Tomorrow. Pay bills. Get the mower fixed. I’ve got two trees to plant. I’ll plant them, unless I’m so sick, Tomorrow, that I can’t get out of bed. I just assume I’ll feel good so I can plant my trees.
It’s not unreasonable that I assume I’ll feel good enough to plant my trees tomorrow. I’ve grown accustomed to feeling reasonably good when I wake up. But there’s a world of difference between a mindset of assuming, and a lifestyle of presuming. They’re not the same.
The future seems much too ‘knowable’ for some people, I think, even though The Book says, no it isn’t. James, the half-brother of Jesus, mentions how ignorant we really are about the future, when he writes, “You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”
Tomorrow isn’t for sure. Have you read it lately? The writer of Hebrews wrote that “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, and today, and forever.” (Heb. 13:8, NIV) But he says nothing about “yesterday, and today, and Tomorrow.” His word tells me He is a faithful and good God, and because I have seen that provision in my life many times, I can assume that if I live to see Tomorrow, He will continue to faithfully provide for my life. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. I can safely assume he will always be that way, since He is eternal and immutable.
But that is not to say I can presume that God’s goodness guarantees Tomorrow. He has never obligated Himself to how many moments I am entitled to. He has only obligated Himself to my eternity. Jesus died and rose from the dead, so that my eternity could be secured.
Because of Jesus, eternity is a ‘for sure’ kind of word.
But Tomorrow is a lot more … iffy.