Worry never solves our problems. Patience and work will! Life is never easy, but our Lord died to save us from our sins. We can win the battles of this world.
Maltbie Babcock was pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York. He found the secret of a successful life is to be strong. He wrote: “Be strong! We are not here to play, to dream, to drift; we have hard work to do, and loads to lift; shun not the struggle, face it; ’tis God’s gift. Be strong! Say not, the days are evil, who’s to blame? And fold the hands and acquiesce — oh shame! Stand up, speak out and bravely, in God’s name. Be strong! It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong, how hard the battle goes, the day how long; faint not, fight on! Tomorrow comes the song.”
William Cullen Bryant closed his beautiful “Thanatopsis” with this challenge, “So live that when thy summons comes to join the innumerable caravan that moves to that mysterious realm, where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death, thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.”
Rudyard Kipling wrote in his poem “If” these inspiring words: “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you; if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you; but make allowance for their doubting too; if you can wait and not be tired by waiting, or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies; or being hated don’t give way to hating, and yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise; if you can make one of all your winnings, and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, and lose, and start again at your beginnings, and never breathe a word about your loss; if you can force your heart and nerve and sinew, to serve your turn long after they are gone, and to hold on when there is nothing in you, except the will which says to them, hold on!
“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with kings, nor lose the common touch; if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, if all men count with you, but none too much; if you can fill the unforgiving minute, with 60 seconds worth of distance run, yours is the earth and everything that’s in it, and which is more — you’ll be a man, my son!”
Annie Johnson Flint wrote: “God hath not promised skies always blue, flower-strewn pathways all our lives through; God hath not promised, sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain. But God hath promised strength for the day, rest for the labor, light for the way; grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love.”
Robert V. Ozment is a retired United Methodist minister.