One morning, the following prayer greeted me at my fax machine:
So far today I've done alright.
I haven't gossiped.
I haven't lost my temper.
I haven't been greedy, grumpy, unpleasant, selfish or overindulgent.
I've been very thankful for that.
But in a few minutes,
I'm going to get out of bed;
And from then on,
I'm probably going to need a lot more help. Amen.
My faxed-in prayer gave me a good laugh to start the day, but the stark facts of life make it difficult for some days to be laughers.
Sometimes facing the day can be tough. Problems may loom that linger from stressful yesterdays.
Responsibilities seem beyond us. Bills we're unable to pay come due.
Reports of recent medical tests are likely to arrive and, most disturbing of all:
Confrontations with disagreeable people may be imminent.
Makes one wonder if getting up is worth the effort.
On days like this, it's important to know that help is available. According to the Bible, our Lord provides grace to help in the time of need.
A businessman with heavy responsibilities said he had often been appalled after waking in the morning by the thought of all the duties and appointments that awaited him during the coming day. He found help, however, in quoting two familiar Bible verses before getting out of bed: In quietness and confidence shall be your strength (Isaiah 30:15), and Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusteth in Thee (Isaiah 26:3).
These daily faith builders changed his life. Here is his description of that change: It is astonishing how quickly the load is lifted when once I become aware of God's presence and help. The strain and tension go out of me and instead there wells up within me a feeling of serenity and peace.
A. W. Tozer, the well known author of Christian classics wrote: Of one thing we may be sure, we can never escape the external stimuli that cause vexation. The world is full of them, and though we were to retreat to a cave and live the remainder of our days alone, we still could not lose them. The rough floor of the cave would chafe us, the weather would irritate us and the very silence would cause us to fret
Now for the good news: faith enables us to face the day, whatever it holds.
Our strength may be limited but almighty God is always up to the occasion and on the tough days when we seek help from above, our Lord will send it right on time.
Roger Campbell is an author, a columnist and broadcaster who was a pastor for 22 years.