present tense God

by Kristen

I wrote this one year ago today, but the words remain true as I wend my way through new griefs and new mercies . . .


I went to a funeral today. It was a hard one. Fifty-four year old single fathers aren’t supposed to die. Staring at the back of the heads of three fatherless daughters makes no sense.

How do I reconcile the relief that his 12-year battle with cancer and devastating complications is finally over with the void in the lives of his daughters? I struggle to hold the inequity. Eternal joy and immediate, indefinite grief feel out of balance any way I position them.

But as I sat and listened to the reminder from Lamentations—today there are mercies for today’s burdens, and tomorrow will have new mercies for tomorrow’s burdens, but today’s mercies aren’t for tomorrow’s burdens—I remembered God is a present tense God.

Only the present moment can be lived. The mercies for today are for now, not yesterday or tomorrow. And I AM is present now.

Yes, I Am Who I Am was . . . and is . . . and will be to come, but only because He Is right now. He is ever present and ever present tense.

So often my mind races ahead of me and trips on the “what ifs” and “what thens” of the future. But God is here. He is now. He will be there when they arrive—if they arrive—but at this moment His presence is in the present.

When I get lost in the imagined future I remind myself: to what end? Tomorrow will bring its own trouble regardless of my anxiety today. My worry now does nothing but take my eyes off Jesus as He sits with us in our grief and meets our mourning with comfort.

So I hug an oldest daughter and listen to the fear at 25 of feeling responsible for her sisters though she’ll be leaving them here and returning to her home 1400 miles away. And as I hug her I pray she’ll find her way back to the safety of the One who is present with her dad and wants to be present with her, too.

Because only a present tense God is big enough to carry us through today.


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