Ever have one of “those days”? You know, the kind when you get out of bed and you just feel off. You feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. You feel grumpy for no particular reason (after all the day hasn’t even started!). You feel sad and discouraged and beaten and sore?
Perhaps, that’s not you. But I confess, it’s sometimes me. As much as I would like to chalk it up to hormones or to tiredness, I don’t know that that’s entirely true. Full disclosure: I am not a morning person under the best of circumstances (not testy, per se se, but generally disinclined to carry on conversation until that first few sips of coffee has taken its desired effect–see here–and I’ve had a bit of time to shake the fogginess of sleep). Having said this, though, I do wake up “on the wrong side of the bed” more often than I care to acknowledge. I arise feeling grumbly and grouchy, with little hope for a brighter future on the horizon. Instead of getting on my knees immediately and committing that to the Lord, asking for His help to change my attitude and my perspective on the day, and choosing joy, I allow every little thing become mountainous offences. I allow my mood to make everyone around me miserable, too. By ten o’clock every nerve is pulsating with frustration. The situation escalates exponentially.
I believe the enemy gets much pleasure from this, knowing he has an open door to capitalize on my frame of mind and perpetuate the malcontent. I can see him rubbing his hateful hands together, grinning maniacally and taunting, “Yes, that’s right…you are justified in your ill temper. Don’t forget the time your love said those hurtful things. You have devoted your entire life to your children and what is your reward? Nothing but grief over a simple school assignment. There you are again, a houseful of people and no-one has lifted a finger to help you today, even when you don’t feel well. They don’t appreciate you. If anyone has a right to be irritable, it’s you.”
Thus, my foul mood is reinforced, and my rampage continues. I say things and do things I wish I hadn’t. That’s about the time guilt sets in. I feel terrible that I cannot shake my gloom. I offer half-hearted apologies. I’m on the verge of tears now (tears of frustration, dejection and remorse) at every turn. The enemy notices and changes his tactics. He begins to plant seeds of doubt and shame and discouragement. “Remember the time you said something unkind to your son? You are a mom failure. Remember that time your love reached out to you when you were angry and you rebuffed him? Some loving wife you are. He just wanted to make things right. You are so cold. Remember the time you prayed, asking the Lord to show you His job for you that day; then when the opportunity came, you flaked on Him? You are worthless in His service. He can’t use someone like you. You are such a hypocrite. What kind of Christian are you anyway–if you even are one?”
My sinful nature offers me umpteen opportunities to enter the dark room of churlish behaviour and ugly emotional responses along with the resulting aftermath. The enemy uses my weakness against me to hold me ransom there, to barricade the door and hide the light switch. I could just curl up in a corner and let him continue to batter me with his jeers.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, [remain] steadfast in the faith…”
(1 Peter 5:8,9)
Or I could resist him. I could remember that I belong to Christ. The Light of the world. He holds the key to the door of my heart, of my life. I need not stay in the dark; His light breaks through the darkness and brings me into His glorious light. He reminds me who I am: I am His dear child, bought with His own blood. I can leave the burden of all my failures, all of my weaknesses and all of my cares at His feet. I can confess my short-comings and humbly admit I cannot overcome in my own strength.
Peter, encouraging the suffering believers who battled the great burden of worry in difficult circumstances, tells them this, too:
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you…But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
(1 Peter 5:6,7,10)
The entire progression could have been thwarted had I been vigilant. Had I recognized the initial sin and taken the proper measures: falling to my knees and seeking His help. Thankfully, my God is merciful. He offers forgiveness and grace in the face of my weakness. Thankfully, too, my family is forgiving and, while not thrilled with my behaviour, loves me anyway.
I am very grateful that “tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it” (L.M. Montgomery). I am grateful for this message in Lamentations 3:22-23:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.”
Come with me and find lots of encouragement over here:
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