Tolerance for today is exhibiting a patient restraint,
Knowing when to rest and how not to grow faint,
Trust for tomorrow is staying contentedly in today,
Despite the gathering clouds, those dark and mottled grey.
TRADITION dictates the line: “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow... Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me.”
Tolerance is an inner strength – a type of wisdom strength – underpinned by an operant faith. Trust is something we can only employ today, but, by the design of our ever-forward-moving lives, it has its heart set on tomorrow. Trust, therefore, is juxtaposed between to two realms: the day and the morrow. Add to these complexities, our capacities and willingness to trust God for the incoming circumstances is influenced heavily by the past.
Tolerance for today... trust for tomorrow.
Past, Present, and Future
Our entire functional lives stand upon these three precipices: past, present, and future. Each of these three – the Trinity of Existential Being, if you will – plays a key role in both tolerance and trust.
Tolerance is the poise we need in the moment of pressure, which is a very observable manifestation of trust – trust working through the entire mental, emotional, and spiritual continuum.
But the past impacts on our ability or otherwise to be tolerant – of the diversity of people, and of the varying circumstances and differing situations we may find ourselves in. That sort of impact affects how we ply tolerance, how much, or even whether we can or not. Sometimes we just don’t have what it takes to trust to the extent we are required to – yet, with God, there is a safety net.
If we are able to stay the moment, restraining ourselves when dark and mottled grey clouds are looming, we obviously borrow upon the deeds of trust.
Surviving, even thriving, in the present is about borrowing trust from the future. Because the present, by its ever-forward-moving nature, is more about the future coming at us, whether the perception of time is fast, slow or normal, the present elicits fear. What is coming is almost certainly coming. Fate is in God’s hands, so to speak. So, the present is more a combination of the present moment that is forwardly dynamic; the present cannot be stopped. It’s an inconvenient truth, a difficult fact, to deal with.
The ultimate expression of trust, of course, is placing our futures in God’s hands. If the present is scary (informed by a scary past) the future will seem indomitable. The key is to simply believe God at his promises, and to keep believing, by continually coming back to them.
Tolerance for today helps us have trust for tomorrow. Trust supplies tolerance. Tolerance and trust, therefore, work hand in hand as complementary and tangible features of faith and hope.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.