I know who holds tomorrow

Faith & Inspiration
by Dave Burchett
Posted on Monday, July 20, 2009, at 5:30 pm

I couldn't help but smile and think of my dad as I watched the news today. He is now in eternity with Jesus but I thought about how the current debates in Washington and the selfish agendas of our "representatives" would have driven him nuts. I could almost hear him ranting about the politicians and how we just needed someone with "some uneducated good old common sense" in our nation's capital. He earned the right to rant. He was one of the incredible men and women who served our country during World War II. The flag from his military funeral is one of my proudest possessions.

I find myself becoming my dad more and more each day. I have sat here stunned as men and women elected to represent you and me rush recklessly to make decisions that will affect us for decades. Seriously . . . can a few weeks really matter if the system has been broken for as long as they claim?

In previous years I would have been beside myself with frustration. Today, I dialed up one of my dad's favorite songs that I have on my iPod. For me it was the musical version of comfort food, and as I listened I felt comfort wash over my soul. The song is called "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow" and it was written in 1950 by a traveling preacher named Ara Stanphill. This is a song of trust written during a time of agony and doubt in his life. Stanphill's wife battled addiction and left him for other men. You can imagine the gossip that flew in that era when a preacher's wife left to live a life of sin. Yet Stanphill forgave her, tried to reconcile, and remained true to his vows. But he was human and he suffered depression and grief. He wondered why God would allow such a fate for a man dedicated to His service. One day he was feeling sorry for himself as he drove. In the book Turn Your Radio On, author Ace Collins relates the struggle that Stanphill faced. In the depths of his sadness he began to hum a tune, and the next thing he knew he was singing a song. He sang about not knowing what was in the future but knowing that God was with him every step of the way. He rushed to his piano when he arrived at his office and jotted down the words. I remember hearing Faron Young sing these lyrics on a scratchy vinyl record as a boy in southern Ohio:

I don't know about tomorrow;

I just live from day to day.

I don't borrow from its sunshine,

For its skies may turn to grey.

I don't worry o'er the future,

For I know what Jesus said.

And today I'll walk beside Him,

For He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow

I don't seem to understand

But I know who holds tomorrow

And I know who holds my hand.

I believe those words. I don't know why some things happen. I am angry, frustrated, and deeply concerned about what is going on in Washington. But at the end of the day I put my hope not in politics but in Jesus. I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand.

More and more I understand the words that C.S. Lewis wrote:

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

That is what Jesus was saying as He comforted His followers with these words recorded in the Gospel of John:

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you . . ." (John 14:1-3).

So today in the midst of confusion and frustration I choose to trust God for today and sing this little chorus:

Many things about tomorrow

I don't seem to understand

But I know who holds tomorrow

And I know who holds my hand.

Dave Burchett

Dave is a former WORLD contributor.

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