When Kris Kristoffersen’s song ‘One Day at a Time’ became popular in the 1970’s I wasn’t impressed by its message. It seemed to suggest surviving from one day to the next, rather than getting complete victory over our problems.
The song is a prayer that God provide enough strength to get us through this day, and keep doing that ‘One Day At A Time’.
The idea of finding God’s Grace one day at a time resonates with truths in the Bible. For example, we are told that God’s mercies are new each morning.
“Because of the Lord’s loving devotion we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!” Lamentations 3:22,23
And Jesus taught us not to take thought for tomorrow, because there is enough to deal with today.
“Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34
The Lord’s Prayer which Jesus taught to His disciples includes a request for ‘daily bread’, rather than for barns full of supplies.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11
The Apostle James, Jesus’ brother, tells us that the future is filled with uncertainty so we don’t even know what will happen the very next day.
“You do not know what will happen tomorrow! What is your life? You are a vapour that appears for a little while then vanishes.” James 4:14
With these Bible truths in mind it is not at all unreasonable for us to ask God to be with us ‘One Day at a Time’.
Another nice thing about the ‘One Day at a Time’ focus is that we have to keep our faith and our walk with God very fresh and current. If we only had to rely on God once each year we may tend to forget about God when we don’t need Him. By having to come to God regularly we are kept in fresh contact with Him.
Have you noticed that the more time you spend with people the better the relationship can grow? Often when we meet new people, or catch up with lost contacts or forgotten relatives, we feel a bit awkward at first, but as we keep frequent contact the relationship becomes more comfortable and easy.
If you only check in with God on rare occasions it is no surprise if you feel unsure in His presence. You have lost touch with your Lord and Maker.
Christians are urged to set up daily times of prayer, Bible reading and waiting on God. And families are urged to have daily time for prayer, Bible reading and worship of God together. These daily disciplines nourish our spirit and keep us in fresh contact with God.
The Bible instructs us to keep short accounts, dealing with things quickly. When we are upset or angered we are advised to deal with it before the sun sets.
“In your anger do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” Ephesians 4:26
We need to keep short accounts with God, readily talking with Him about things that concern us, or that we need forgiveness for. If we hide things away from God then we will become increasingly agitated, as King David found.
“When I refused to confess my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. Day and night Your hand was heavy on me; my strength failed as in the summer heat. Psalm 32:3,4
When God set up food for the Children of Israel in the wilderness the Manna only lasted a day. Each morning they had to gather fresh manna. If they kept it overnight it stank. So God used that to show that we must have a fresh daily experience with God.
Another reflection I see in the song ‘One Day at a Time’ is that we often have to endure trials. We have to be patient. We have to wait on God, unable to run off and do our own thing. God tries our faith, so we can find ourselves enduring things for an extended time.
In those seasons we continue to cry out to God daily, finding His strength and support to get through each day. Even though things are not how we might like them, under some load or strain, we find God’s peace and comfort each day, and that gets us through to face each new day.
Wonderfully we have that lovely promise that we looked at earlier, that God’s mercies are fresh with each new day.
“His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!” Lamentations 3:22,23
So, if you are not taking time each day to be in God’s presence let me encourage you to make that time, for prayer, Bible reading and waiting on God. Listen to what God prompts you through the Bible and through His Holy Spirit speaking deep inside you. Be attentive to God’s promptings and build your faith and your walk with God.
If you are in a difficult place that seems to stick with you, then look to see if God has a key for your release. Meanwhile, and for as long as you are being tested by those circumstances, commit yourself to God each new day and look for those fresh mercies God has for you each morning.
As you walk with God and call out to Him each day, He will be with you and sustain you, One Day at a Time.