We all want to know the future.
That’s why today we’re watching Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s celebrity groundhog. Today is Groundhog’s Day when meteorologists nationwide defer to a furry rodent who will make his famous forecast known about when spring will arrive.
According to legend, if it’s sunny and Phil sees his shadow, the scared groundhog returns to his burrow and the United States will endure six more weeks of winter. But if it’s cloudy when the Phil emerges from his simulated tree trunk, the critter won’t see his shadow and will leave his burrow, meaning winter will soon end and an early start to spring is coming.
Between 1887 – 2017, Phil has seen his shadow 103 times (more winter) and has not seen his shadow 18 times (early spring).
Last year Phil was wrong. He saw his shadow which meant there should have been six more weeks of winter. However, both February and March ended up warmer than average across the nation, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In fact, February 2017 was the second-warmest February on record.
Today’s weather forecast for Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where thousands will gather for festivities, calls for cloudy skies and a chance of snow showers.
While we await Phil’s forecast, let’s remember an essential spiritual truth:
Jesus doesn’t want us to worry about what the future will bring.
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34)
Let’s not snag our focus today on future problems. Instead, let’s entrust ourselves to the One who already knows the future.
Helen Keller once said, “Keep your face to the sunshine, and you cannot see a shadow.”
When we look to Jesus, the Light of the World, we can rest in the peace He gives.
Punxsutawney Phil may or may not see his shadow.
But Jesus can light up any situation we find ourselves in today – or tomorrow.
Let’s trust Him.