I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

David Burchett

I miss my Dad. It was five years ago this month that he passed into eternity with Jesus. I still find myself wishing I could share good news with him. I still sometimes think it is him when the phone rings on Sunday afternoons.

I wish he could have seen how his grandsons in Texas have grown up to be godly and good men. I wish he could have seen how his daughter-in-law trusted God as she faced down cancer. I wish he could have seen how his son finally began to understand how to live in the amazing grace of Jesus. I wish I could have told him that his example gave me a foundation for how the grace of God is possible. If my flawed earthly father could love me that much and without condemnation then I can begin to understand how a loving God can love me despite my junk and flaws. Not every man can say that and I am grateful that I can.

I couldn’t help but smile when I thought of him as I watched the news today. The current debate 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 need 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. Today I dialed up a couple of his favorite songs that I have on my iPod. It was the musical version of comfort food. The first song was particularly appropriate in the context of today’s news. I have sat here stunned as Senator after Senator has confessed they don’t know everything  that is in the bill they are about to vote on. In previous years I would have been beside myself with frustration. But today I listened to one of my Dad’s songs and 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 could 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.

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. And then I listened to what I would guess was my Dad’s favorite song. He would sing along loudly and I remember that I also inherited my Dad’s lack of singing talent. But his heart believed the words that Red  Foley and the Sunshine Boys sang.

Well, I'm tired and so weary
But I must go along
Till the lord will come and call, call me away,
Well the morning's so bright
And the Lamb is the light
And the night, night is as black as the sea,

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
There'll be no sadness, no sorrow, my Lord,
no trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me

My Dad is experiencing that today. No more sadness, no sorrow, no troubles. So in the midst of craziness and confusion I hold on to the hope that my Dad believed. I know who holds tomorrow and I know there will be peace in the valley for me some day. 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.”

Had my good friend Mike been with Jesus I suspect he would have smiled and said these words. “That’ll work!” Indeed it will. So today 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 is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through