Monday, July 6, 2009

a few thoughts about a bad day

You know how some days you just have “one of those days”? That was yesterday. I woke up feeling totally off, and it seemed like everything that happened was more frustrating that the last thing. I ended the day thoroughly soaking my pillow with a steady deluge of tears (my most effective stress reliever) and finally falling asleep completely and utterly exhausted.

I woke up this morning wondering, how do I start over from a day like that? I’ve done it before – cried myself to sleep and then woke up thinking, ok now it’s a brand new day. But this morning I didn’t really feel that way. Everything was still off. I cracked open my Bible and turned to the Psalms. I started reading without really noticing what Psalm it was. As I read just one chapter themes started leaping off the page – “I will praise the Lord at all times” “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and He delivers them” “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them” Then I got to verse 16:

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

It was one of those moments when everything else fades and the Bible speaks directly to you. I closed my eyes and just prayed. I confessed my selfishness and bad attitudes that had made every problem bigger than the last yesterday. I praised God for so many things that He’s done in my life and I thanked Him for the promise that He is close to the brokenhearted.

As I did that my breathing got slower, like the air cleared, and I knew how to start over. When life gets tough (like yesterday) I have the tendency to grit my teeth, buckle down, and power through. The only problem with that is I don’t actually have the power to do it. Believe me, yesterday I tried and you see how well that worked out for me and my soggy pillow. God reminded me today that life isn’t about how much I can cram into it, it’s about how closely I can walk right next to Him. There were a million times yesterday when I could have dropped everything and focused on God. I could have gone to Him when I started struggling instead of waiting until my spirit was totally crushed. Today I’m going to take those opportunities.

When I finished praying I read the chapter again, Psalm 34, and I realized something that made me laugh. In level three of our English program here at the Youth Center (the level that I wrote the curriculum for and have taught to six different classes) they memorize Psalm 34 in the Message translation. They do a couple verses a week over the three months and by the end they can say the whole thing. It’s funny because I’ve taught that chapter so many times I could quote it at any moment. Today I was reading a different translation of the Bible, but all of the themes and even some of the phrases are the exact same. If I had looked at the Psalm before I started reading it I might have moved on to another one, because after all, I know that one by heart… Sometimes I forget that the word of God is living and active and that God uses even the most familiar words to continually challenge and change us.

So, it’s about 11 am and I think I’m ready to start my day. Thanks God!!!!!

1 comments:

Marilee said...

Em,

I'm sorry you had such a bad day, but I'm glad you're not alone. God is there and He holds you close. Love, Mom A