Live Fully in the Present
Living with a rare disease was never in my plans.
That’s the funny thing about pain and hardship—they fail to warn us about their upcoming appearance in our lives leaving us unable to prepare for what’s to come.
A newfound diagnosis, the loss of a loved one, an unexpected layoff—the shift can happen in a myriad of ways. Life flips and suddenly we are contending with a much different future from the one we designed.
The speed at which life can change sharpens the value of the present moment. But how do we live fully in the present?
Amid hardship, living in the present moment can be difficult. The mind too easily wanders between the tension of what might have been and what might be.
pres·ent. |. /ˈprez(ə)nt/
1. in a particular place.
2. existing or occurring now.
1. the period of time now occurring.
Presence requires our focus on moments as we live them.
Getting comfortable with the circumstances that comprise our reality amid hardship is no straightforward task. We long for a different future or desire to rewrite the past. But when life flips, we must give ourselves time to settle into our new reality. We must recognize that God is with us as we work toward the acceptance of the circumstances we’ve been given.
Because just as quickly as life flipped, it can flip again—sometimes for the better, but sometimes with a greater burden to bear.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”Psalm 46:1
What we have—even amid hardship—is the present moment before us. To live a full life, we must embrace the present and all that comes with it. We must find the beauty that coexists alongside suffering. We must do our best today and steer our minds from focusing too much on the possibilities of tomorrow.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”Matthew 6:34
God is ever-present in our lives. He is in control and He will be with you, whatever tomorrow may bring.
A Practice to Live Fully in the Present
During times where you feel stuck living in the tension of what might have been or what might be, give this practice a try:
Find a quiet space to simply be. Let your mind wander for a bit. As thoughts begin to take shape, steer them toward the past and all the ways God has seen you through challenging circumstances in your life. Shift your focus to all the ways God has shown up and met specific needs. Seek out how God has moved in your life, recall the precise circumstances He has brought you through, and reflect on how those have shaped you.
God is with us and He will never leave our side—no matter what crosses our path in life. Let us rest in the knowledge that God is in control. Free yourself to live fully in the present.