“The thing is to rely on God. The time will come when you will regard all this misery as a small price to pay for having been brought to that dependence. Meanwhile, the trouble is that relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing has yet been done.”  

C. S. Lewis

Lewis was warning against the tendency to rely on God only when we’re in trouble, only when some urgent need arises. As he noted, relying on God is a daily discipline that we exercise moment-by-moment.

I don’t know about anybody else, but it’s hard for me to live in the moment. Some days I spend too much time looking backward with regret at something I wish I’d done better. Other days I spend too much time looking forward with anxiety about what needs to be done this week or next. The reality is that all I have is today, this very moment. I need to learn the art of living in the moment.

What should help me in this daily reliance upon God is to remember his daily provisions. Jeremiah said, 

The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3.23-24

Jeremiah wrote these words while surveying the ruins of Jerusalem after King Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the city. Looking backward only served to remind him of the nation’s past failures. Looking forward only frustrated him because there were no resources with which to rebuild. Jeremiah could only look at each day as gift from God, a reminder that God hadn’t abandoned his people.

The challenge for us is to see each day’s situation as a gift from God. In each day do we see God’s provisions? Do we see God’s help in temptation? Do we see God’s forgiveness? Do we see his mercy and grace? Do we see his comfort and hope? We see them only to the extent that we look for them. THAT is how we learn to rely upon God.

It would be too much to say that we should never look backward, because we should always be ready to learn from past mistakes. It would be equally foolish to say that we should never look forward, because we should always be aware of where our past and present decisions point us. However, properly evaluating the past and the future depend upon how we look at God in the present, in the moment.