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“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”1 The Bible doesn’t promote hurry. The only verse I can remember any preachers or anybody else using to try to make us rush was, “The king’s business required haste.”2 But for that one scripture, I think there must be a hundred that tell us to go slow, or words to that effect—even to take it easy.
Maybe that’s why God created mules and donkeys—as an illustration of how we should pace ourselves. They are plodders. They are very slow, but they have more endurance and can carry heavier loads than horses. They are the workhorses of the backwoods. They can negotiate trails that horses would kill themselves on, carrying loads for miles that a horse couldn’t, especially not a racehorse.
Racehorses can spurt for a few rounds around the track, and that’s it. They’re extremely high-strung, nervous, and are just not workhorses. They’re not plodders; they’re not load carriers. But pack mules and donkeys are—and they’re as stubborn as they come. You cannot rush them. They just plod along, but they do it and they get there. It’s like Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare: The tortoise was slow but he got there.
I can’t count the times I’ve told taxi drivers, “Go slow and you live longer. Live fast and you’ll die quicker.” That certainly is true. Doctors and health experts have said that pressure and tension are killing people, and that many of today’s illnesses are either from pressure and tension or improper diet. Pressure and speed are killing people through heart trouble, nervous trouble, and high blood pressure.
Lord, help us to go slow. We shouldn’t waste time, but we need to trust the Lord instead of being rushed and impatient. Patience indicates slowness, plodding along, doing our work persistently, and not wasting time, but also not getting fretful and worried and all worked up about it. Impatience is marked by speed, hurry, rush, haste, push, pressure, tension. Patience shows faith. Impatience shows lack of faith. Impatience shows that we don’t think the job is going to get done unless we hurry and push it and rush it.
But if we’ve got faith that Jesus is going to take care of it somehow, we can afford to be patient and go slow and do it right.—David Brandt Berg3
There is always something new on the horizon. The Lord showed me this truth in a vision almost twenty years ago as I was considering enrolling in a Bible school program sponsored by our church three evenings a week. It was a major commitment for my husband Dave and me. At the time we had three small children at home, and yet we felt God calling us to a new level of ministry. I was excited, but apprehensive.
Once we made the decision, I began to feel that this commitment would be “the thing” that would make “all” the difference in the world.
As I was considering this decision, God gave me a vision of a horizon. My husband and I were heading toward it, but as we finally came near to it, another horizon appeared out beyond the first one. It represented yet another place to reach for once we had arrived at the current one.
As I pondered what I was seeing, the Lord revealed to my heart that there would constantly be new goals out in front of us. … I regret to say that even though I did the reaching and I was not complacent, it took several more years before I learned to enjoy each step of the journey.
I was always going somewhere and never truly enjoying anywhere. I was deceived by thinking that I would have joy when I arrived—that now was only a time of sacrifice and hard work.
I am very thankful for the Holy Spirit’s patient and continuing work with me as He taught me to enjoy every aspect of my life—the beginning of projects, the middle, and the finish, the people in my life, my home, myself, and the ministry in which God has placed me.—Joyce Meyer4
“Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”5 The secret of being “faithful until death” is to be faithful one day at a time. You can only live one day at a time; you can only be faithful one day at a time. So don’t worry about whether you were faithful yesterday or not, or whether you’re going to be faithful tomorrow. Just do your best to be faithful today. The Bible tells us to forget the past,6 and tomorrow will take care of itself7—or the Lord will take care of it. Just be faithful today. Don’t worry about your whole life. Don’t keep asking yourself, “Am I going to be faithful until the day I die, so I can be sure to get a crown of life?”
If you think about trying to be faithful for the rest of your life, that scares you, that worries you. That’s just too overwhelming, and you feel that you’ll never make it. But what about today? Weren’t you pretty faithful today? Surely you did a lot of things faithfully today.
Only the Lord can keep you faithful. Of course, you have to give Him a little cooperation; you have to pray and listen to Him, you have to read His Word, and you have to try to do what you know He wants you to do. But that’s the easy part. It’s His job to keep you faithful—full of faith, filled with faith that comes from Him. And if you don’t have enough faith, all you have to do is read and listen to the Word. That’s the source of faith. If you do that, He’ll give you all the faith you need. Just keep reading the Word and trusting the Lord and don’t worry.
You don’t have to have faith for tomorrow. You don’t have to have faith for next week or next month, and certainly not for next year or many years from now. You don’t have to have faith for the future now. You’ll get it when the time comes. The only faith you need now is for today.
You don’t even have to have faith for a whole day. Just have faith for this moment—right now. Just have faith for one moment at a time. When you wake up in the morning, you don’t need to worry, “Have I got faith for today?” Just get up and have faith for each little thing that you do throughout the day. That’s all you have to have faith for. If faith no larger than a grain of mustard seed can move an entire mountain,8 then it shouldn’t even take a microscopic speck of faith to keep you doing all the things that you need to do in a day.—David Brandt Berg9
Published on Anchor June 2013. Read by Tina Miles.
Music by Michael Dooley.
1 Isaiah 30:15.
2 1 Samuel 21:8.
3 More Like Jesus (Aurora Production AG, 2001).
4 Enjoying Where You Are on the Way to Where You Are Going (Warner Books Edition, 1996).
5 Revelation 2:10.
6 Philippians 3:13.
7 Matthew 6:34.
8 Matthew 17:20.
9 More Like Jesus (Aurora Production AG, 2001).