Tomorrow. A day full of promise. A day to do all the things we didn’t get to today. A day to undo all we did wrong today. A day unblemished.
For me, tonight, tomorrow means I will find out the results of my latest MRI scan. For me, tonight, tomorrow is a day filled with complicated emotions.
I’m the kind of girl who has too many emotions and too few filters at any given moment. I’ve always been this way. And it is a struggle for me to keep my emotions in check at intense moments, but I am, at this point in my life, often able to do it. I don’t always do it perfectly, I sometimes let a little comment slip or cast a careless look and then feel terrible or worried about it later. But mostly, as an adult, I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t just let your emotions spill out and splash all over those near you. But I make no promises for tomorrow.
When I received my MS diagnosis last year, they concluded that I probably had Relapsing-Remitting MS. I say probably, because with MS, it’s tough to know. They basically scan your brain, tell you about the damage, and then conclude, based on the damage they’re seeing, what kind of MS you have. If you go back later and have more damage, well then, they were wrong and you have a more severe form of MS, a more rapid rate of deterioration, a more definite prognosis of disability. And the only way they really know what category you fall into is to check your brain. Fun stuff.
For me, this means an annual MRI. And so, I dutifully scheduled my doctor’s appointment and succumbed to the contrast and the confinement of the MRI tube. And tomorrow, we find out what it all means. Tomorrow we find out if the meds have been working. Tomorrow we find out a little more about what my future can hold. And so tonight, I am rehearsing the truth of God’s word.
First, I remembered Matthew 6, where Jesus talks about worry and says “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” And I know that he doesn’t just mean tomorrow, Tuesday, but tomorrow, the future. And I know that he has good things in my future, no matter what the MRI shows. And I know that he is faithful, even if the MRI shows disease progression. And I know that he promises, in the very same verses in Matthew, to take care of my every need. I know that He ultimately determines what my future can hold. But it can be scary.
And then I think of Romans 8, which says a lot of good nuggets of truth, like in verse 28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Or in verses 31 and 32, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” And perhaps most comforting, verses 37 through 39, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Yes, it sounds preachy. I guess I am preaching to myself a little bit. When I am afraid, like I am now, it quiets my soul, steadies my heart. I can do my yoga breathing all day long, I can go to the inner place of quietness where I focus and empty my mind, and still it doesn’t calm me like rehearsing scripture back to myself.
Recently, in Bible study, we were talking about the importance of reading scripture, or memorizing it. Several group members were talking about how, when one has memorized portions of the Bible, one can use this knowledge to convince people who don’t believe. I, personally, did not find this logic to be particularly compelling. I mean, if they don’t believe, why would they care what the Bible has to say, even about their own state? Why would that persuade them? An ancient book whose authority they don’t recognize? I could see problems with this tactic. However, I find a very compelling argument for memorizing scripture, from reading it and rehearsing it regularly, in my own life as I realize that moments when I am most desperate, it comes flooding back to me. Verses I memorized as a little kid in Sunday school or as a teenager in the Bible study my parents forced my to go to. Verses I recited in class at the christian school I loathed to attend. These little snippets come floating into my mind at the very moment I need them, like personalized memo’s from God. I can’t tell you the reference, and often I have the verse clanging around in my head all day before I finally look it up online to realize the book it’s in, let alone the chapter or verse, but they’re always perfectly timed and perfectly suited to my situation. All this year, all the time, all perfectly suited. If that’s not an argument for memorizing scripture, I don’t know what is.
Often I think of tomorrow as an opportunity to cross off more things on my to-do list than I did today. In particular, items on the should-do list. On my should-do list for tomorrow is: grocery shopping; at least two loads of laundry, including folding; workout for at least 30-40 minutes; eat a green smoothie with spinach for breakfast instead of Dunkin’ Donuts; read the Bible and pray. Considering what I have in store tomorrow, the last item is obviously the most important. In reality, though, I guess that last item is really always the most important, even on days that aren’t the big deal of tomorrow.