Most likely you have heard someone say, “It’s just one of those days”. You might have even used the phrase yourself when a single day brought more problems than you could ever imagine. It might look something like this:
- It’s graduation weekend for your son and your parents from California are visiting.
- Graduation is out of town and everyone needs to get there so you book hotel rooms for the night before the event because you also plan on moving your son out of the rental apartment the next day.
- Your daughter arrives at the house with a newly applied tattoo on her foot that is swollen.
- You leave the house and head out only to discover half way there that your daughter forgot her overnight bags in her parked car (in your driveway).
- No time to turn back; she is crying so you agree to help her purchase the necessary items she needs for the weekend event. Her idea is not to get by minimally for the two days but to purchase every exact and expensive item she is missing.
- At the start of the ceremony, your mom passes out and the EMT takes her to the hospital. The family alternates visits at the hospital so someone can watch your son during graduation commencement.
- Your mom spends the night at the hospital so they can do tests and monitor her; she has dementia and becomes confused and starts leaving her hospital bed and roams the hallways. At 2 a.m. you get a call from the hospital asking her family to come and pick her up because they want to avoid the liability from injury.
- You leave the hotel to pick her up and in the process of getting the car from the visitor's lot to bring it around front, the car does not start. You wake up your husband at the hotel so you both can figure out a way back.
- The next day, your husband goes to the U-Haul location to pick up the reserved trailer for the move and while standing in line, they give away the last trailer they have, to someone else.
- After a long wait to get a trailer from another location, you get to the campus and your son still hasn’t packed everything.
- At this point, your husband is frustrated and now detached, your daughter is sitting in a chair with her leg elevated and not able to help move boxes because her foot is still swollen, your son is distracted because his roommate is still packing as well and your mom, who still is not sure where she is, wants to go home.
Although this seems like a made-up story, it’s the actual absurdity of events that took place the weekend of my son’s graduation. At one point, I looked up at the heavens, and asked God, “You got to be kidding?”
I know I’m not alone and there are many of you that at one point in your life, have experienced a load that was just too heavy to bear…..the proverbial saying ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ comes to mind. With each straw that gets added, it may seem like a small thing and maybe even something we can handle without much effort. Unfortunately, with each straw (each trial/challenge experienced), by looking to ourselves to cope and believing that asking God at that point to help us, is too premature or unwarranted, only sets us up for unpreparedness later. If we wait until things get worse, we are pushed to a point that becomes unbearable, a point of stress that can’t be reined in and a point where clarity of mind is lacking.
Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30, NRSV
You may think today that you got things handled. That your problems are so small that you require no help from God right now. You might believe that in your own strength, you can fix things on your own. However, what you don’t see, is the erosion of your spirit that is happening each time something presents a challenge in your life.
While preparing for this post, Holy Spirit gave me an analogy. When water or wind erodes the natural landscape, the effects or changes are not noticed while it’s happening. For each pounding wave that hits a land mass, the end result is not visualized; the transformation is happening but at a rate that is so subtle, we cannot see it. Only after time, can we see the dramatic consequence of repeated thrashing.
The Faraglioni rock formations which rise up out of the Tyrrhenian Sea, within miles of Capri’s Southern coast (Italy), visually displays what I mean.
These majestic formations did not appear overnight; at one point, they were part of the island. The island residents do not wake up each morning and say, “Wow, look how many millimeters eroded yesterday!” You may not realize or see what happens over time while its happening, but eventually, you see the result.
Here’s another example:
A body builder’s strength is built up over time. You do not lift 200 lbs. all at once when you decide to lift weights. You start small and work your way up. You develop healthy daily practices so you are ready to make incremental changes that will help you become ready to handle more weight. If you tried to go to the gym to lift 200 lbs. right from the start, you would see that your body was not prepared. The potential of failure is high.
Difficult days will come. Overwhelming attacks from satan will eventually surface. The bombardment of things that could go wrong may likely all happen at once.
The point is, you prepare by strengthening yourself ahead of time. You proactively act and make decisions that will prepare you for the future. You place yourself in a position of preparedness so that you are ready when the unexpected happens:
- You build a house with a roof because you know the rain and snow will eventually come.
- You fill up your gas tank BEFORE it’s empty.
- You plant the seed before you plan on picking the fruit.
- You save money for the future because you know you will need it for emergencies
- You educate children while they are young and you don’t wait until they need a job to teach them to read and write.
- You prepare for retirement while you are still working so that you don’t have to scramble later.
- You keep physically healthy and try to make good choices now so you don’t age in despair later.
This is what we must do with our faith……we must build it up, feed it, care for it, teach it, support it and prepare today for those days in the future where the unexpected will eventually happen. Those days that blind side us will reveal how well we have prepared and how strong our faith is. Read the Word daily so it seeps into your heart and becomes second nature; only then, will it become the automatic default in difficult times.
Take a moment to read Psalm 37. It talks about the security of those that trust in the Lord:
23 The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord, And He delights in his way [and blesses his path]. 24 When he falls, he will not be hurled down, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand and sustains him. 25 I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous (those in right standing with God) abandoned Or his descendants pleading for bread.
Psalm 37: 23 – 25
Here are couple more Bible verses to place in that emergency backpack:
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14: 26-27, NIV
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7, NKJV
Joyce Meyer, a well-known Bible teacher added a commentary in her study Bible after John 14 and 15, which I believe sums up my post perfectly:
…..things will not work properly in our lives unless we invite Him into everything. His presence can eliminate much of the struggle we experience in life. It makes impossible things possible, hard things easy and frustrating things peaceful. Do not ever be afraid to say, “Help Lord, I can’t do this without You.”
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises. Romans 15:13, AMP
Through God’s Grace, Love, Blessings and Prayers,