When I was a kid I remember loving Now and Laters–the square candy that took an hour to chew through. I also remember how much my mom didn’t like me having them. She was worried about my teeth–I just liked that one square lasted so long. I didn’t understand the name at the time. It was as if whoever invented them was like, “Hey, start chewing now and you’ll still be chewing later. This candy is hard as all get out and takes work to get through it. Can you handle it?” As a kid, it was like, bring it on. As an adult, not so much. I don’t like them now. Too much work. Too hard. Not worth it. Why would anyone think this is a good thing?
I think life has a lot to do with now and later. With money, God would have us put off what we want now until we actually can afford it later. What we go through now God will use as a setup for later. Our disciplines now directly affect the reward later. There may be sorrow and grief now, but joy comes later. You see the connection.
How we approach now matters. In tough situations, I believe we actually can determine how long we stay there by our approach. Here are a few points to chew on (see what I did there):
1. Be aware of what’s really going on.
James 1:2-3 says Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever we face trials of many kinds. I don’t like that he says “many” kinds. But I think we can identify. He says the testing of our faith DEVELOPS perseverance. God can use ANYTHING to help develop us.
2. Let God Do What He Does.
When we persevere, we mature. When we mature, we become more complete. I think that’s what we all want. We just don’t like the process. But God loves the process! It’s the only way we become more like Jesus.
3. Stay Up!
If you are in a difficult NOW, the last thing you want to hear is to stay positive. We start saying things like, “Well, you don’t know what I am going through” and “My situation is different.” Maybe it is. But James 1:12 says you’ll be blessed later if you choose to persevere now. Here’s what I say to myself:
I don’t know how
I don’t know why
I don’t when…
Actually maybe I do. Later. And if God’s in control. I’m okay with that.
See you later. 🙂