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.