A Case for Not Letting Tomorrow’s Troubles Steal Today’s Joy

This article series shares a post Pastor Erik’s Twitter account as articles for anyone to read, whether you have access to Twitter or not. You can find Erik's original Twitter thread here.

“One day at a time.”
That became the motto of my family when my son had a stroke in October 2017 from fungal meningitis.

His stroke change our lives. We had no idea if he would survive the meningitis, and if he did, what brain function or abilities was he retaining. This was my son, guys. My only son. We were devastated, and scared.

Proverbs 3:5-6 quickly became a passage we held to:

    [5] Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
        and do not lean on your own understanding.
    [6] In all your ways acknowledge him,
        and he will make straight your paths. (ESV)

Trust God with all of our hearts. Do not lean or trust in our own understanding. That’s a wonderful coffee mug passage, but it is incredibly difficult to do when you don’t know if your child is going to survive.

Every moment of every day was intense. Spinal taps. CT scans. Blood results. We were always on the edge of our seats. Our hearts rode a rollercoaster each day. Fear comes in and out. What if’s start piling up. Exhaustion sets in.

We finally reached a point where Jesus’ admonition to not worry about tomorrow really set in (Mt. 6). Tomorrow would have its own troubles. We needed help and grace for that day. We needed to trust the LORD for today’s needs.

And that’s how the mantra arose: One day at a time. People would ask, “How are y’all doing?” We’d answer, “We’re taking it one day at a time.” “How are y’all doing this?” “God’s giving us grace one day at a time.”

That became a massive lesson for us:

God doesn’t give you grace in advance of your trials, so you can imagine going through them. He gives you grace *in* your trials. He gives you today’s manna. One day at a time trust in God is how we’re all supposed to live.

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Only when we let our eyes wander ahead and let our minds race ahead to a future we don’t control does our hearts sink into despair, fear, and worry. We stopped looking ahead. “God, help us today.” That’s the only place where we can live—is today—so that’s where we need grace.

This lesson would serve us for the next two years, and beyond. Kaleb would recover from his meningitis, but the effects of the stroke did significant damage to his body. He would live two more years and died December 1st, 2019.


We still need this lesson today in our grief and pain of his absence. Through all our trials and grief, there is still joy. Joy in God and one another. That’s grace. If you’re interested in Kaleb’s story & the lessons God taught us, check out my book:
Uncommon Trust : Learning To Trust God When Life Doesn't Make Sense

For some more articles that can help you develop a theology of suffering, check them out here:


Erik is the Pastor of The Journey Church in Lebanon. He also founded Knowing Jesus Ministries, an organization which exists to proclaim timeless truth for everyday life. He is married to Katrina, and has three children: Kaleb (who went to be with the Lord), Kaleigh Grace, and Kyra Piper. 


  • Anxiety,  Death,  Worry