I have a little magnet on my fridge that says: Be nice to me, I’m having one of those days. You know. Those days when you are off-kilter; when everything seems wrong, when even your favorite cup of coffee/tea tastes off, when the sun is shining but there’s thunder in your heart, when you don’t understand why everyone seems to be shouting at you? Yeah, “those” days.
Little Connor seemed to be having a day like that yesterday; dad went off to play with the big boys- literally- out of town for a music gig, sis was at school all day, and momma was at work. So he was stuck with nana for the day. I could tell that he wasn’t exactly pleased with the set-up when he decided to sleep in twitchy 15 minute segments, was very vocal in his displeasure and ate like a horse. Not the usual day for us together! Toward the end of the day he seemed to be righting himself and even gave me a chuckle. I hope he slept well last night!
I am up in the middle of the night and thinking back on yesterday, it strikes me how early in our lives “those” days occur, that even babies have “those” days.
When it’s happening and we’re in the middle of a day that feels wrong, has gone sideways, or is horribly pear-shaped (as I’ve heard in the UK) we have a tendency to lose sight of what’s important. And, if you’re like me, you begin to feel sorry for self by the end of a day that lasted a year. The idea of four walls, silence and collapsing in a chair is looming, out of reach, just ahead. But the day just does not end!
One of those days…
The Bible is full of folks who found themselves having “those” days, sometimes innocently thrown into that day, sometimes by their own devices; and sometimes “those” days turned into weeks, months, or years. The Old Testament Prophet, Habakkuk, wrote words I often turn to when I need help to endure. His words are such an encouragement to me, in the middle of the muddle.
He gives this insight when there was nothing in his life going right, yet his response was joy-filled:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:17-18
I may not be in real crisis as he was, but his words are so profound and strike a chord in my heart.
I think, in my life, sometimes “those” days are ones in which the deceiver is pounding on the door asking to be let in, to be allowed to invade. When I say “no”; he’s just there, sitting on the doorstep of my mind, trying to peek in, continually knocking, trying to throw my focus off with anything he can find to get my attention away from God’s purpose for me.
So what can we do? When there’s a hurricane in your heart and you don’t know what to do about it, when everything is not right?
The next part Habakkuk shares with us, I think, holds the key to handling “those” days: “The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19
Rise above the storm, dear one… this, too, will pass.
PS: Habakkuk’s situation was a dire one I would not belittle by diminishing the meaning of his words down to an off day in our lives. He was facing starvation, invasion, destruction of all life as he had known it, and it seemed no end was in sight. The three small chapters he wrote carry so much significance for true crises; but when those off days come and seem endless to us and are so big in our eyes it helps to remember that Habakkuk could still rejoice in the Lord. And so can we.