SOMETIMES we get so beaten down by personal problems we cannot see our way through life's tunnel of despair and we want to give up on the muddled jumble of our days and try to find some meaning and reason to face yet another sunrise. We get tired of seeing life flash by with our friends and neighbors holding life's “goodies” in hand, along with the keys to happiness and perfection and all the fine things life has to offer. The future for them seems to shimmer and shine with glorious promise, while our lives are fraught with uncertainties and pain. On the surface, that is, others seem to be the fortunate ones, the special ones with no discernible problems.

NOT necessarily are they religious to boot. They laugh at the straight and narrow, the burdens of being good, and seem to need no one. They are the beautiful people, coasting along on the highway of pleasure and happiness with their perfect bodies and suntanned skin. Watching them we feel we have been kicked to the curb by life and began to form the conclusion that life is “not all that” for us as we begin to sink into a depression so deep it blinds us to God’s promises and the real reason we are here in this space and time in the first place. Humour runs thin in times like this and that is not productive. If we could see some comedy in our situations, if only to laugh at ourselves, we could begin to take a different perspective, a new twist or slant so to speak on life. This is hard to do when spirits are low and the future seems bleak with problems multiplying at every turn in the road.

THIS is the time to call on our Heavenly Father who knows exactly what we are going through. He alone can make a way where there is no way, unlock doors that no one else can, heal a broken heart, go into court or battle for us, dry our tears, provide for our children, comfort our souls, elevate our spirits. And we do not need to pay for these services with money nor do we need to set up a time in advance. He is available any time day or night and on call 24 hours to hear us out with compassion, patience, and understanding. He listens, and lets us know He is working on our individual cases. He is our "all in all". Some kind of wonderful, one might say.

SO what method of payment is God exacting for these incredible services? How much would this be worth on today's market? How much will this cost us out of pocket? The escalating prices for even a minimum of service from a psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor or attorney would be astronomical and could cause financial ruin to most of us. And there is no guarantee these professionals could make a difference. So how much would we pay for all this? Well God doesn't charge by the hour or even the problem and He is on duty at all times. Consider His payment. Love, faith, and trust, pure and simple, is all He requires. Complete trust and reliance on Him. Pretty good deal considering He also gives us a grand prize at the end. Eternal life with Him in Paradise.

TO some, religion seems to be old fashioned and not in keeping with today's fast paced lifestyles. Our dependency on God seems to have shifted to a new level of so called self sufficiency. This is the age of new moral ideas, computers, missiles, new technology, new acceptance of old taboos. Many think there is no place for the old religious teachings in this modern society. It is considered old hat, ancient, irrelevant, and has no meaning to some in today's world. Some might think it foolish and useless to bend a knee in prayer for help or comfort.

AS Christians we serve a Living God. If we have been faithful to the premise of God in our lives, we can conclude that prayer can and will elevate us and give us the peace or answer we seek. If we can keep in the forefront that we are here not for sole personal enjoyment but to prepare ourselves for that other perfect life, then we can begin to see that the so called good life can lead us into the dangers where we do not “need” God.

BECAUSE this life is preparatory doesn’t mean that God wishes us to be unhappy. He wants to see us all enjoy the things He has created. He simply wants us to taste these blessings as a prelude to something greater in the next life. The yen we have for perfection in this life cannot ever be realized on earth but keeps us reaching for that perfection God has in store for us in Heaven.

WE must keep in mind we always have a strong friend in God. We are not alone in our sufferings. He is there and will go to bat for us when no one else will. He is our strength, our fortress, our personal cheering section. When friends turn away as if we might be contagious because of our problems, we have Him to lean on through thick and thin times. He bolsters us, keeps our eyes fixed on the main goal and carries the weight of our sorrows and pain for us. And so, armed with this great knowledge, we can go forth with confidence. We are not left alone to fend for ourselves. We have the best ally available to mankind. He is our hope, our only mainstay.

LET us keep our faith alive until God welcomes us home.



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