Day 10

Boasting About Tomorrow

from the James reading plan

James 4:13-17, Proverbs 27:1, Acts 18:19-21, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

BY She Reads Truth

Scripture Reading: James 4:13-17, Proverbs 27:1, Acts 18:19-21, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

The other morning I sat down and thumbed through some old journals from earlier in my 20s. (Incidentally, if you want a good laugh, go back to another season in life and read about what was important to you then.) Sometimes I mentioned an upcoming event or trip or a boy or some kind of debacle that I’d found myself in. But I always had some kind of a plan in motion.

The trend started early. I once found a to-do list from when I was about eight years old that included “play outside for 1.5 hours.” Because childhood is way more fun when you plan it.

To this day, my tendency to plan is in full effect. Each and every day starts off with a to-do list of what I want to accomplish. I even add the tasks I’ve already finished, just for the satisfaction of checking them off ‘the list.’ Anyone else?

My junior year of college, some of my dearest and I planned a retreat to the suburbs of Chicago. As we pulled onto the freeway, I was in the passenger seat in charge of navigation, giving me the much-appreciated perception of control. So you can imagine my surprise when I looked up from my map to see the car in front of us at a full stop—while we cruised along in pace with the rest of the highway.

What happened next felt so slow that I can remember every moment, but it was, in reality, mere seconds. Everything became eerily silent. My last thought before impact was, You’re about to be in a car accident.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
– James 4:13-14

Nothing prepares you for a crash. For the smell of exhaust. The sound of bending metal and shattering glass. The taste of airbag dust. The shock.

As things settled, I leaned my shoulder into the car door and stepped out of the wreckage into the stopped, shocked traffic, the Chicago skyline rising up around me. I brushed the airbag dust off of my shirt and cheeks and took a few shaky steps. For months, I would wrestle with the crash in my dreams as I waded through the feeling of helplessness.

It’s inevitable. We get phone calls or texts or emails that stop us dead in our tracks. The devastating news comes—on-screen, in a letter, or across someone else’s lips. Or maybe, like me, you’ve witnessed or experienced something horrific, something tragic or traumatic. Suddenly, your plans get pushed aside and those to-do lists get burned. You’re left raw and broken, trying to catch your breath.

That’s the moment when you remember the truth: you’re not the one upholding anything. You remember not to “boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day might bring” (Proverbs 27:1). Christ alone holds all things together (Colossians 1:17).

Tomorrow could bring beauty; it could bring heartache. But as I’ve been reminded, even in my darkest moments, Christ holds me fast. Each moment is laced with His grace.


Melissa Zaldivar is a social in the world of academics and an academic in the world of socials. Ever the Enneagram Six, she likes to dream big, talk herself out of it, and then just do the thing already. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Bible/Theology as well as a Master’s in Theology. Her passions include eating Jimmy John’s sandwiches, showing people pictures of her nieces, and nerding out over biblical languages. If you ever need to know anything about obscure Puritanical American history or NASA, she’s your girl.

Post Comments (79)

79 thoughts on "Boasting About Tomorrow"

  1. Sophia DeBacco says:

    I am reading this passage amidst the coronavirus pandemic… how differently it hits now that plans truly been altered. I did not lose control, this was just an illusion that I was ever in control in the first place. We do not know what tomorrow what will bring, but praise God he holds all things together !!!

    1. Melanie Talbert says:

      Yes. I definitely have more time to read and study God’s Word. I trust that He knows, and has my family and community in His hands. It’s strange to not know if I will be teaching in a school in September, I used to wonder what grade I’d be teaching and which teacher my own children would have. Now I’m living much more daily, and reminding myself that He is good and provides what we need.

  2. Sophia DeBacco says:

    I am reading this passage amidst the

  3. Kelsey Erickson says:

    Good reflection. I was thinking the same thing. It’s cancelling all of our future plans and it also have me thinking “remember when we could do this…”. Great reminder today to stay in the present moment.

  4. Tara Beatty says:

    Going through the book of James for the who knows time and wow, what a time as this! Boasting about my future. Our future. The coronavirus virus has stopped our country and world dead in its tracks. School cancelled. Field trips cancelled. Sports cancelled. Dance cancelled. We have no practices, no place to be. No idea or certainty what today or tomorrow will bring. We have today. And all I can do is use this day to love like Christ calls me to do. Pray for all effected. Choose mercy. Walk humbly. And definitely not boast.

    1. Andrea Atwood says:

      I was just thinking the same thing Tara! I actually started it at the beginning of Lent and paused for a minute (unintentionally) because my whole life was spinning because of COVD-19. Last night, during some ministry training, she was sharing this verse. Only for me to feel led to start this study back up and read it here today! I’m blown away. Lord, help me receive this word.

  5. Tricia Baxter says:

    I try to remember that I can make my plans but it is God that directs my steps. I often start the day with a plan, only to find interruptions of life require me tonlaynthe plan aside and just move into opportunity as God opens a door. For me, very much a planner, that ised to create anxiety, now it brings anticipation of an adventure with Daddy God

  6. Kena Kyle-Hardin says:

    I am very much a person who “needs” control and order, but the notion of the Lord truly knowing what has happened/is happening/will happen in my life ironically brings me peace of mind because I know Jesus will always be with me through the good and the bad.

  7. Steph C says:

    “You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring — what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes” (4:14). I don’t think God is telling me to bounce through life without a plan or preparation. But He is reminding me that all my plans are based on limited knowledge and view of the future. He sees and knows all things. Sometimes all my plans will dissipate in a moment as His far greater plan converges from my own. That is when I have to trust and follow, knowing that “even in my darkest moments Christ holds me fast. Each moment is laced with His grace”.

  8. Courtney Tabor says:

    At the beginning of this year I was accepted into the LPN to RN transition program. On the day of orientation I started having crippling anxiety, something I had never experienced before. It only got worse over the next week. I went to the doctor and long story short, I had a tumor on my ovary. Because of this I had to withdraw from nursing school. This put a huge dent in my husband and my plans. However, through that journey I have strengthened my relationship with Jesus more than ever. I had to realize this isn’t my life to plan. It was a hard pill to swallow and I’m still trying to figure out how to completely surrender my future to Him, but I’m trying. I’m so thankful that He is in control though because I make a mess of everything! His ways are always perfect.

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