Impossible Things: One Day at a Time

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“Give us today our daily bread.” Matthew 6:12

This morning I was thinking again about how trusting God and letting go really is, as Eugene Peterson wrote, “a long obedience in the same direction.”  Sometimes I wish that long obedience came with some sort of personal planner that was created just for me.   Sometimes, I just want to know:  How is God going to get me from point A to the seemingly impossible point Z.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could see the daily, the weekly, the monthly and the 5 year plan? 

Yes…and no.  Mostly no.

When I think back on all the ups and downs my life has had, I am actually grateful that I didn’t have the ability to see it all coming days or months ahead of time.  Even if I knew it all turned out okay, even if I knew my job was to simply hang on to the Lord’s hand and trust Him, I wouldn’t have wanted to know beforehand some of the twists and turns that have occurred along this road.

Years ago, Jesus taught his disciples how to pray.  A portion of that prayer is a daily request we are to make to our Heavenly Father.  Give us enough bread for today.  Just today.

Lord, give us enough nourishment to sustain us and to give us victory over today.

When I was two days sober, I remember sitting in a meeting room full of recovering alcoholics and crying my eyes out.  I was sharing with these folks (complete strangers) about all the twists and turns my life had taken.  I was sharing about how hard it was to deal with all the repercussions of my bad choices without taking a drink. I remember looking at the elderly man across the table from me and asking him how long he’d been sober.  I can’t remember his exact answer.  All I remember was that it was something shocking like 25 or 35 years.

I was stunned. At that moment of weakness, it sounded impossible.  I was 29 years old.  How on earth was I going to do this 25 years…let alone one?

“How?”  I asked him.

“One day at a time. They add up.”  he answered.

As crazy (and as frustrating) as his answer sounded to me at the time, I’ve come to realize just how beautiful this plan really is.  I love how Jesus even shared this plan with his disciples during the short time He was on earth with them.

Ask for what you need today and I will sustain you today.

Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace and apply this kind of living.  It’s a way of life that now goes beyond that table I was sitting at when I was two days sober.  It really is the secret to living life as we were intended to live it.   Anytime I am in a season where I wonder how God is going to pull off a victory, I think back on that moment of frustration in my life and I remember how faithful God was to give me the strength I needed just for that day.  I think back on how He put just the right people in my  path to encourage me and support me.  I think back and I rejoice all over again!

God accomplished the impossible in my life.  One day at a time.

I don’t need a personal planner that gives me all the answers five years from now. I simply need to know how to get through today.  24 hours.  Because tomorrow, we flip the page and start again… fully equipped by God’s mercy and grace (Lam 3:22-23)

Today, if you are in the middle of an impossible situation, let me encourage you the way I was once encouraged.

One day at a time….they add up.

They add up:  It’s been 4, 480 days since I was sitting at that table that night and crying my eyes out over the impossible journey that stretched out ahead of me.

I wanted to share this song with you all.  The worship leader at the church I now attend  wrote it.  The first time I heard it I fell in love with the lyrics.

Impossible Things- by Ben Honeycutt

5 thoughts on “Impossible Things: One Day at a Time

  1. Rick Dawson

    12 years of ODAAT is good stuff. It helps me remember that all the years I’ve got are (a) a testimony to paying attention and (b) still able to be wiped out in a New York minute if I fail to seek Him first.

    Someone in a meeting a long time ago broke down the Lord’s Prayer at the section that means so much to both of us as “give us this day our daily bread – not a week’s worth of groceries that I can’t carry.”

    Keep coming back, Eileen! 🙂

  2. Betty Draper

    Eileen…a heart felt post my sister. Living one day at a time is the secret to a contented life here on earth. My mother use to say, don’t borrow tomorrow troubles, just deal with today’s. Bless you for your honest and truth filled words. Good song.

  3. Laura Robb

    One day at a time. That is a lesson I continue to learn. Sometimes it’s so hard to focus on nothing else…not yesterday and not tomorrow. Just today. Thanks for the reminder that God does impossible things, Eileen! Let me go focus on my current day and leave the rest to Him. 🙂


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