When people are brought low and you say, ‘Lift them up!’ then he will save the downcast. Job 22:29


It was one of those days—just like Alexander’s “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”* Everything that could have gone wrong did. All my morning plans had fallen apart. And then, in returning from the library with my grandson, we were caught in a horrendous traffic jam due to a break in the water main. We got out as quickly as we could—thirty minutes later—only to find ourselves in another jam with people escaping the first. While we waited, I got distracted and rolled into the utility truck ahead of me. (Oh, yes, we were fine and the driver and police officer were both lovely.) When all the reports were filed, and we finally got home, I discovered that I had missed an important appointment that I’d tried to schedule four months earlier. Yes, it was a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” And the biggest annoyance was me.
When I was finally alone that evening and reflecting on the overload of stresses, I was still reeling from an overdose of my own stupidity. But even so, God hadn’t lost his joy, his sovereignty wasn’t affected, his love hadn’t disappeared, his presence hadn’t vanished, his mercy hadn’t failed, and his power wasn’t reduced. In fact, his grace was much more prominent in my weakness, and his reassurance brought comfort even as I remained frustrated.
With thanksgiving I rejoiced that circumstances and my humanity hadn’t confounded God. He is the same yesterday and today and forever and knows completely the dust from which I’m made. He is never surprised at my snafus or silly mistakes. In fact, he reminds me that I live in a world where all creation cries out for redemption, and bumps and “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day[s]” happen. I am to live gratefully through those times, too, knowing that “joy comes.” I am to be still…
God never has bad days.


Father, thank you for keeping us in days that are not our best and for staying with us as we recover from emotional roller coasters. Help us not to think too highly of ourselves and to lean more and more on you in total and absolute dependence. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

*Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst is a children’s classic describing Alexander’s thoughts when his day goes amiss.



He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3

Put yourself in Moses’ position. Adopted into royalty, he had the finest education, resources to satisfy every desire, and servants to do his bidding. And then he didn’t. Running for his life, his refuge was in a lonely desert with a flock of sheep. But that’s where he met God and responded to the call on his life.

When God sent Moses back to Egypt to shepherd his people Israel and to lead them to their ancestral home, it appears that he left out the details of leadership. Moses was so busy quarreling with God about his lack of skills that it didn’t occur to him to ask for a job description. And it’s probably a good thing—Moses’ lack of qualifications was nothing compared to what he would be asked to do for the next forty-odd years.

You know the story: Moses reunited with his brother Aaron, sketched out the plan, and together they went to proclaim freedom to their people. Then they went to ask permission from the Pharaoh and performed astonishing miracles to convince him that it was in his best interest to let God’s people go. The people finally left, and then Moses’ faith walk began.

The essence of the Long Range Plan seems to have been: 1. Follow God; 2. Depend on his provisions; 3. Obey his guidance. Period. There were no Plans B or C. It was Total Dependence. Every. Single. Day.

Exodus 13:21 and 22 tells us that the Lord went ahead of them in a cloud to guide them by day. When the cloud stopped, they stopped. For as long as the cloud stopped. When the cloud moved, they moved. No forewarning, not even a hint. Total Dependence.
Apparently, there wasn’t a map with notations for desert wells and where the people could find water for themselves and their animals. And the first time they did stumble upon water, it was bitter (Ex. 15:23). Moses did the only thing he knew to do: he called on God, and God gave him a unique plan—throw a tree into the water. And the water was made sweet. Total Dependence.

At some point, the provisions the Israelites had packed for what should have been a few weeks’ journey were exhausted. The people were wishing they were back in Egypt with all the spicy food—they’d forgotten their bondage—and they were whining like babies. So God told Moses that he would rain bread from heaven on them, which lasted for the duration of the trip (Ex. 16:4).

When there was disobedience or disagreements or longing for meat or need for wisdom, Moses cried out to God, and God responded. Total Dependence. There was no way Moses could have anticipated nor have prepared everything that was needed to care for millions of people in the wilderness for decades with no outside resources. BUT GOD…

Every. Single. Day. Moses depended on God. And so should we. We want blueprints for the future; we want maps; we want assurance. We already have EVERYTHING we need. We have God. God is enough. Every. Single. Day.

Father, forgive our doubt and unbelief. We already have everything we need for life and godliness through Jesus Christ our Lord. THANK YOU.