Lily’s Troubles

Lily, Dolly, and an exciting discovery 😊

“So don’t ever worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34, GW).

“Mommy, I have a problem.” My Lily had come into my room to unburden her soul to me. “I don’t want to grow any more. If I keep growing, then I won’t want to play with Dolly.” Tears rolled down her precious cheeks as she thought about it. (Dolly is her favorite doll. She means the world to her, because she provided Lily comfort during her lengthy hospitalization a year and a half ago).

On the one hand, how refreshing! So often my kids have impatiently wanted to grow up faster than nature allows. If Lily wants to savor her childhood joys, that does my heart a lot of good. On the other hand, my poor little girl! Talk about borrowing trouble.

Thinking about it, I realized that her dilemma was a perfect picture of the lot of us. We are Daddy God’s little ones. Perfectly cared for, somehow we nonetheless end up trying to carry around on our shoulders the weight of the world, worrying about the future.

I know that when the time comes when Lily no longer finds playing with dolls enjoyable, she will find other fulfilling pastimes to replace it. In her moment of angst, however, she could not see that. All she could see was a troubling picture of the days ahead… void of what she views as one of the world’s best treasures. The future without Dolly’s company just looked so dismal!

Don’t we do the same? We imagine the future without what we consider some vital commodity in it – whether it be love, a spouse, sufficient finances, our health, etc. Jesus lovingly responded to this tendency of ours with these words: “So don’t ever worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34, GW).

I reassured Lily that she could keep Dolly forever. We envisioned together that maybe she would give Dolly to her own daughter one day. After a few minutes of comforting words and hugs from her mama, Lily skipped out of the room cheerfully with a perspective shift.

That’s all we need too, isn’t it? For our Daddy to speak His comfort and reassurance to our hearts? He’s ready to do just that. So let’s snuggle in and listen:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?   Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  (Matt. 6:25-27, ESV).

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How does “giving no thought for the ‘morrow” go together with wise planning for the future? How do we find that balance?

40 thoughts on “Lily’s Troubles

  1. O Lily, I remember that pain so well! The wanting to grow up so fast only to discover that the only growing I did was physical seems like the reverse of your pain.
    Yet, having discovered the boundless grace of Father God, I no longer lament the time wasted but rather focus on using now to the best of my ability for His Kingdom and glory.
    My answer to your question Jenn is this: It is right and good for me to plan for the future, so long as I trust completely in God for the proper result.
    Blessings,
    Chuck

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  2. Jennifer, this is a great reminder that we should do our best today and not worry about tomorrow. God will take care of us. Thank you.
    I am reading your book Feeding on Jesus and I love it. I can tell that Jesus spoke through you as you were writing. Take care. Scott

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  3. Hahaha awww, lilly brought up a vey interesting thing to think about. Who knows how many other kids think about the things that they enjoy to do in the same manner. I had my own moment too at one point in my life; I had just turned 17 or 18 years of age and I remember thinking “wow I am actually 17/18” and in a strange way I remember feeling as if I was going to miss being younger 😄. But generally at the stage that I am at now (which is beyond the age of 18 hahaha), I realized that as you grow older, you cherish the things that really appeals to you as a person and grow out of some of the things that you no longer view the same way, and this is ultimately a very natural process. It’s sort of like when the training-wheels of life are coming off from the things used to start you off as a kid, and you are at the stage where you truly know what is for you and what isn’t 👍😄.

    Just because you are growing it doesn’t mean the numeral digit signifying “age”, will change who you are as a person and everyone grows different so even though lilly may be too young to realize this right now, she has nothing to worry about haha.

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      1. You are more than welcome Jenn. It was a pleasure to read what was on Lilly’s mind on this very interesting subject and to share an experience with you that came to mind about how I viewed getting older at one point, after reading your precious mother and daughter discussion.

        Yeah, I believe so too pata. In fact, Lilly transitioning from playing with dolls to other interests as she gets older, may be so seamless that Lilly might not even remember that this is how she felt about playing with dolls, or can’t even believe that this what she thought hahaha

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      2. Chuckling at that. So true! And I think that is such a picture of our spiritual growth too. What seems like a big deal to us now, in the future when we look back on it, we will realize that it wasn’t quite so worth worrying about as we thought it was!

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      3. The issue Lilly raised is a very important aswell because it brings out the fact she fundamentally doesn’t want to grow up too fast, and it reminds us of how important it is that she along with kids her age, get to enjoy their childhood.

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      4. Lol your chuckles blessed me with a better day Pata. And your thought of how this is similar to spiritual growth is so right and so relatable. In response to your core point, when we grow in righteousness we become at peace on the inside and we gain more value in quintessential things like: trust, caring, family, loyalty with others and our relationship with GOD; and we don’t take the value of external materialistic things too seriously knowing that the greatest value of all is life and having a healthy and happy life. Everything else is like an icing on the cake — too much of the icing and the cake can spoil us, but that’s a whole other story 😂😂.

        Hahaha yes exactly Pata, praise the lord for that. She has plenty of time to discover new things and be what she wants to be in time, but it’s super that she loves her childhood.

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      5. Haha how can we be bitter about life when GOD’s spiritual growth the can be so yummy?. Just like you I am delighted to be feeding on Jesus pata; calmed by the curing cakes of consciousness ✨🎂, by far his most impressively iced iterations, and bonafide by the baked breads 🥖👌😂.

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  4. It made me remember a scene in These Happy Golden Years when Laura (Ingalls Wilder) was getting married and her old rag doll went into the bottom of her trunk. Even as a teacher she never gave up her ‘Charlotte’.

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  5. It’s a question I frequently ask myself, but giving no thought for tomorrow doesn’t mean not making plans or being prepared, it just means not worrying and being anxious and not pinning all our hopes on our own narrow vision of an expected outcome. That’s how I understand it, though in reality I don’t find that easy to accomplish, because I do get anxious and I do wish for certain outcomes and disappointment is real for humans, even when we love God.

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    1. So very real! I know I have been disappointed many, many times when the outcome was different from what I had hoped. I am so glad Jesus has deep compassion on these human emotions we experience. But yes, I think you explained the distinction perfectly. Walking it out is truly a challenge for all of us! Day by day, may our trust grow a little deeper 🙂 ❤

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  6. A great lesson from one of God’s adored little children.

    There is a saying I used to hear growing up, “Plan and prepare as if you will live forever but LIVE as if there will be no tomorrow.” I think that hits the heart of how a follower of Jesus Christ will live.

    The Bible has many examples of preparedness, yet we are to trust in God’s sovereignty. None of us know if we have a tomorrow. Live fully in the present that is truly the only time we possess. We can squander our present with anxiety and worry, which is foolish, or invest in ways that reap eternal dividends and honor God. Paul gives us some practical tips to setting anxiety at bay in Philippians 4, prayer with thanksgiving. A heart of gratitude helps usher in peace, leaving little room for worry.

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    1. Wonderfully, beautifully expressed and explained. Thank you so much for such a thoughtful comment, my sister, I really appreciate it so much. That saying from your childhood sums it up so perfectly! I am so grateful for that peace that passes all understanding guarding our hearts and minds and keeping them safe in Him. May He bless you richly!

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  7. Beautifully spoken. I think we make the best choices we can today, to take fulfilment of today into tomorrow. Worry not about the choices we are *going* to make, but embrace where we are right now. My creative mind often gets caught up in wonderful shiny new ideas, but up until now have seldom stuck with any through to completion. Planning is ok, but not if it’s the only thing we ever do!

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  8. Lily’s momentary troubles and the wise rescue you forwarded from the Holy Spirit today brought joy to my heart as I reflected on the troubles of a year and a half ago. She is well, and is in the able hands of God (and her mother) and she is truly walking in God’s awesome answers to much prayer. God is good!

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    1. I like that description, “forwarded from the Holy Spirit.” Thank you so much, Jon! We just celebrated her 8th birthday yesterday, a moment to truly reflect on exactly what you are sharing here, God’s amazing faithfulness to her and us!

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