Sometimes, the joy of being a follower of God seems far, far away. Have you ever experienced one of those days when nothing goes right?
• The boss is giving you those, (I can’t believe you work for me!) looks!
• Your kids are whining, dogs are barking, the phone is ringing, your head is clanging.
• Your home looks like ground zero of a recent bomb blast.
• Your schedule is full till the year 2025. Your paycheck is spent through 2030.
• Your pastor is on the answering machine asking you to teach Sunday school.
Your get-up and go, got up and went out the back door leaving you stranded with a tired old body, badly in need of a major overhaul. Sound familiar?
I experienced one of those days shortly after committing my life to God. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I imagined my new life as one meaningful spiritual moment followed by another. But the grind of day-to-day living took its toll and I was becoming discouraged.
A friend noticed my despair and asked me to join him for a cup of coffee. With his encouragement, I began to talk about my frustrations and failures. “I thought becoming closer to God would change things, but I’m no better now than before,” I cried.
My friend listened quietly and smiled knowingly. Then he said, “I really do understand your frustration, but you are definitely not a failure. You simply have a vision problem. You are seeing all of the setbacks, frustrations and day to day mistakes you make in life with new eyes and becoming discouraged.
Then he said: “Where you are failing to look is behind you.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“You made remarkable changes in your life which are obvious. Looking behind enables you to appreciate the progress made so far, while continuing to work on improving your present relationship with God!”
This was advice I desperately needed to hear. What about you? Are you suffering from a chronic case of the bad day blues? Here are some action steps along with suggested Scripture:
“Consider it pure joy, my friends, when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-3
• Realize how much God loves you. Read John 3:16
• Remember the cleansing power of forgiveness. Read Romans 10:9-11
• A daily habit of prayer is a powerful weapon to beat the bad day blues. Read 1 Th. 5:16-22
• Look for opportunities to put your faith in action. Read James 2:14-17
• Maintain active contact with other Christians for support. Read Hebrews 10:24-25
• Look behind you and celebrate the progress made so far. Read Philippians 4:4-9
These action steps may not stop your boss from complaining or your kids from whining. They may not help you clean the house or fix your schedule, but they will give you renewed strength and a feeling of peace about your relationship with God. Remember to look behind you, keep improving and celebrate your victories.
By the way, when the pastor asks you to teach a Sunday school class, pray about it and say with heartfelt enthusiasm, “By God’s grace, of course I will!”