Best. Weekend. Ever.
I started to title this “The Terrible, Horrible, [So] Good, Very Bad Day”, but thought it might be lost on anyone who’s not familiar with the children’s book by Judith Viorst. (Elementary teacher and parent friends, you’re welcome.)
You know those days you can’t wait to get to the end of? Days when you just can not operate as a functional, stable human being and want to crawl back to your bed? When the little things suddenly seem overwhelming? Or the big things are falling apart and you’ve got no Plan B?
I’ve had some of those before. They’re awful. They’re the kind of days that stumble you and pull you away from Jesus if you let them–but they don’t have to be! Here’s what I’m practicing holding on to during days like that:
So far, the Lord has carried me through every single one of my awful days, even when I was not doing anything at all that He’s asked of me, and I know He’s doing the same for you. That’s a 100% survival rate for bad days.
Somewhere, someone is having a great day–maybe they got the job they’ve been hoping for, maybe they’re getting married, maybe they’re a new parent, maybe they hit all green lights on the way to work, maybe their barista gave them free coffee, maybe their best friend called to catch up, maybe they gave their life to Jesus Christ and confessed He is their Lord and Savior. Someone, somewhere is having a red letter day–how can I pray for a speedy ending to that?
All things happen in His perfect timing. He has mapped out every day that ever will be–He has made this day and every day and I can take heart in that.
I try to adjust the perspective of my mental list. Instead of immediately chalking things up as nuisances–the unheard alarm, the bad review, the traffic, the non-stop phone buzzing–I try to remember to find something in each of those to be thankful for. Sleep is fabulous–and my body may have needed those extra minutes. The bad review is not a reflection of my value, but an opportunity to grow and learn to do better next time. The traffic? Extra time with the radio for car singing and dancing. Obviously. The non-stop phone buzzing means I am blessed with the convenience of having instant access to pretty much anything at all and anyone with a phone number.
You can call it optimism if you want, but I’m calling it God-answering-my-prayers-for-more-of-His-perspective-and-less-of-mine.
Since I’m rambling about bad days–which is not where I expected this post to go, let me share some of the perspective I’ve been given lately regarding the most beautiful bad day there’s ever been.
I’m talking about Good Friday. No bad day of mine will ever compare to Jesus’ days leading up to the crucifixion. (Check out Rick Warren’s The Answer is Easter series for a great breakdown of the Easter story.)
One of the things I’ve learned form several of the Bible study lessons I’ve read/heard lately is to carefully consider what a verse or passage means–not just to breeze over it like I would a story. When we do this with the Easter story we see what a beautiful [ahem, perfect] model Christ’s last days before the crucifixion are for how we should get through the worst days of our lives.
Here are my big takeaways from this closer look at the truth of Easter:
Jesus spent time with the disciples–the people He was closest to. Now, granted, they fell asleep on Him a couple times, but they did show up!(Matthew 26:36-46) When life-storms come our way it’s so easy to withdraw and isolate ourselves, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the most recent season of my life it’s how harmful that is. I’m overwhelmingly blessed with a family, friends, and church family circle that lets me ramble and laughs at my corny jokes and doesn’t mind my occasionally obnoxious laugh–but more importantly they hold me accountable for my actions when I don’t reflect His love and they encourage me when I feel so far away from it. If you’ve got someone(s) like that, thank God for them and be sure to tell them how grateful you are for their presence! If you look around and don’t see those kind of people in your life, I strongly encourage you to find a church family that can be that support system for you. A support system is no replacement for the life support of Jesus Christ, but they make a huge difference in those life-storms. I’m not crazy about being the new girl, but for some things it’s worth it–and your spiritual well-being is definitely one of those things. You can do this. He’s got you.
Jesus cried out to God–in a vulnerable and honorable way, asking if there were another option to let that happen, but still praying for the will of God to be done. (Matthew 26:36-46) We know Jesus is the only perfect person that has ever been, so it only makes sense that we should model our behavior after His and be honest with God in our prayers, while still praying that His will be done. He already knows where our heads and hearts are, sure, so you don’t *have* to tell Him, but it’s kind of like sharing a secret and having the other person say, “I know, it’s ok.” What a huge relief to you!
Jesus covered us in prayer–in the moments leading up to what Jesus knew would be a humiliating, heart breaking, history changing death and resurrection, He chose to spend time praying for you and me. (John 17: 20-23) His perspective is always a selfless one. In every inconvenience and discomfort of the people that came to Him He looked for an opportunity to love and teach. In His most painful moments our Jehovah Nissi, our protector, our banner, was loving and caring enough to set an example we can still follow 2,000 years later. That’s an ever faithful, ever watchful, ever thoughtful love. Maybe, just maybe, if I learn to approach my inconveniences and discomforts as opportunities instead of burdens I’ll get a little closer to Him and have the blessing of reflecting Him to the world.
As we honor the day of His death, remember the day He laid in the tomb, and celebrate the day of His resurrection, let us be mindful of all that these things mean for our lives. Let’s not forget that before all of this He covered us in prayer, through all of this He loved us, and because of all of this we get to come and live in His peace and have His Holy Spirit dwell in us. Perhaps you don’t need this challenge, but I do, so here it is:
Let’s live out Colossians 4:5 this weekend (& every day).
The worst days are behind us. He is risen, y’all. It’s a good day when you remember that for yourself. It’s a great day when you get to tell someone else.