Have you ever had one of those days when everything seems to go wrong?
Maybe you caught every single red light while running late to a meeting, maybe a bottle of your favorite red nail polish spilled all over your white carpet, or maybe you were planning on buying groceries—but the amount of money left in your bank account said, “Ha ha, not today friend, you’re on your own…”
Yeah. Those days are the worst.
It’s when every little thing seems to go wrong. It’s when stuff breaks, things get lost, and there seems to be no justifiable reason as to why. It’s when the quality of our character and the quality of our faith get tested the most, and it’s in those split seconds when you truly discover where your hope and your peace lie. And let me tell you… I am the queen of messing those moments up.
Just the other day, I broke a glass bowl that didn’t even belong to me. I was washing it in the sink when it slipped out of my hands and dropped onto the countertop. Ka-Bang! Shattered. The first few seconds following that unfortunate event were filled with profanities being yelled in multiple languages, clenched fists, and lots of indistinguishable angry grunting noises—all of which didn’t appear very Christian-like. Whoops.
I was angry and annoyed for the rest of the entire day because of a stupid glass bowl. Heck, I even went through the 5 stages of grief. First, I denied that it even happened, then when I realized there was no coming back from my mistake, I got angry. Next, I tried to bargain with God—begging Him to perform a holy miracle to put the broken pieces of this glass bowl back together. (I know it sounds ridiculous, don’t judge me). After that, I got depressed because I knew that I didn’t have the extra money in my bank account to buy a new bowl, since this one was now doomed for the trash can. And finally, I decided to accept the fact that “it is what it is” and in 5 years this whole thing won’t even matter.
Once I found time to process this whole event (and to come to my senses), I remembered John 16:33. In that verse, Jesus makes a promise to us saying, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So, if I believe this verse to be true, and if troubling times are guaranteed, then how am I supposed to react to these difficult circumstances in a way that glorifies God?
Well, if we read the verse again, Jesus calls us to “take heart.” A few other bible translations change that phrase to, “be of good cheer and/or take courage.” So boom, there it is. When life throws nasty stuff our way that doesn’t seem to be fair or make sense—we need to “take heart.” Now, let’s be real. A broken bowl isn’t the end of the world, but many of us are faced with troubles and trials that seem monumental. Maybe it’s cancer, a car accident, a death of a loved one, or even unemployment?
Well, I hate to be the one to say it, but… we are called to handle these big challenges in the same way that we are called to handle the small ones. Why? Because Jesus didn’t say, “Alright people, try to take heart when the little insignificant challenges comes your way, but make sure you get angry, throw a temper tantrum, and completely lose your faith in Me when a big difficulty comes your way. I can only help you overcome the small stuff, so you’re on your own for the big problems! Good luck!”
Yeah, no. Jesus never said that. Jesus overcame the world—which means that He also overcame everything in the world. Nothing is too hard for Him to handle, and nothing is too impossible for Him to sort out. With God, there is no such thing as a hopeless situation.
We must keep our hope in Christ, we must trust the process even if it doesn’t seem fair, and we must maintain a heart of gratitude at all times. This is way easier said than done, though. As I mentioned earlier, I am constantly failing in this area of my life. There are days when I am ruled by my emotions, and those days are when I waiver in my faith and stumble through a bad attitude. But, the bible also says in 1 John 3:20 that, “if our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.”
So lastly, don’t be afraid to be imperfect and don’t condemn yourself when those imperfections rise to the surface (like when multilingual profanities slip out of your mouth unannounced after you break a glass bowl on your countertop). When gold is refined in the fire, all of it’s impurities (which are called dross) rise to the surface and are skimmed away. When the fire heats up and this process takes place, the gold is purified. God does the same thing with His kids. Through every circumstance (good and bad) our character and our faith are being refined, and the Lord promises to use everything we face in our lives for our good—and for His glory. Some of those “refining moments” may hurt, some may cause pain, and some may be humiliating—but the Lord promises that He will always have our best interests in mind because He loves us.
So, moral of the story:
Invite God into your daily mess, and trust Him to handle the rest.