January 30, 2013

The Secret to Peace

The other day I (Joni) was talking with my Dad after a particularly bad night spent together. Dad had really bad cramping for hour after hour and he was obviously in much pain.  I asked Dad if he prayed for God to take him. He shook his head no. That surprised me. When I am with him and he is in so much pain and can't sleep I pray often that God would take Dad and spare him any more pain. I asked if Dad prayed to be healed. He shook his head no again. I asked if he just prayed for strength for the day and he shook his head yes.  He typed out that he counts down the hours of the day, each day, and only asks to be faithful to the end. 

This morning I was reading a devotional from J.R. Miller "One Day at a Time" and it reminded me of my conversation with Dad last week. Everyone is struggling with burdens or trials of some sort.  There is so much pain and brokenness in our world, and no one is spared from sin's touch… what a blessing that God gives us one day at a time. And how incredible will heaven be - we won't need night or rest, just everlasting peace!

Miller says:

"As your days - so shall your strength be!" Deut. 33:25

One of the secrets of happy and beautiful life, is to live one day at a time. Really, we never have anything to do any day - but the bit of God's will for that day. If we do that well - we have absolutely nothing else to do.

Time is given to us in days. It was so from the beginning. This breaking up of times into little daily portions means a great deal more than we are accustomed to think. For one thing, it illustrates the gentleness and goodness of God. It would have made life intolerably burdensome if a year, instead of a day - had been the unit of division. It would have been hard to carry a heavy load, to endure a great sorrow, or to keep on at a hard duty - for such a long stretch of time. How dreary our common task-work would be - if there were no breaks in that, if we had to keep our hand to the plough for a whole year! We never could go on with our struggles, our battles, our suffering - if night did not mercifully settle down with its darkness, and bid us rest and renew our strength.

We do not understand how great a mercy there is for us in the briefness of our short days. If they were even twice as long as they are - life would be intolerable! Many a time when the sun goes down - we feel that we could scarcely have gone another step. We would have fainted in defeat - if the summons to rest had not come just when it did.

We see the graciousness of the divine thoughtfulness in giving us time in periods of little days, which we can easily get through with - and not in great years, in which we would faint and fall by the way. It makes it possible for us to go on through all the long years and not to be overwrought, for we never have given to us at any one time more than we can do between the morning and the evening.

If we learn well the lesson of living just one day at at a time, without anxiety for either yesterday or tomorrow, we shall have found one of the great secrets of Christian peace. That is the way God teaches us to live. That is the lesson both of the Bible and of nature. If we learn it, it will cure us of all anxiety; it will save us from all feverish haste; it will enable us to live sweetly in any experience.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34



  1. WOW - what a great post...thank you so much for sharing this...just what I needed to hear today...your dad is such a wise man...

    1. Dear Jack and Lena,
      We continue to pray for you daily, and as Joni wrote in this post, we pray that you will receive strength for the day, each day until the Lord will take you home. Jack as you run the race of this life we pray that you press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

      Hebrews 12:1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

      We pray to that you continue to be a faithful witness to all those that visit you, I know in words it may not be possible, but your life and faith in Christ and your peaceful heart says more than words.

      Have a save journey dear brother Jack.
      Until we meet at Jesus feet
      John Van Woerden

      Psalm 138:4
      Als ik, omringd door tegenspoed,
      Bezwijken moet,
      Schenkt Gij mij leven;
      Is 't, dat mijns vijands gramschap brandt,
      Uw rechterhand
      Zal redding geven.
      De HEER is zo getrouw, als sterk;
      Hij zal Zijn werk
      Voor mij volen - den,
      Verlaat niet wat Uw hand begon,
      O Levensbron,
      Wil bijstand zenden.

  2. Not a day goes by that we do not bring you, Jack and your dear wife Lena, before the Lord in prayer. What a testimony you are leaving behind! May the Lord give you the strength to indeed be faithful till the end, and may His Name continued to be glorified through you.
    Warm greetings,
    Sandra (NL)

  3. Thanks for sharing this post, Joni. Our heart and prayers go out to your dad and mom and all of you. The piece you quoted is a beautiful encouragement!