Saturday, January 23, 2010

Even on Difficult Days

Today hasn't been the best of days. When I realized that we didn't have anywhere to go this weekend besides church on Sunday morning, I had high hopes of getting stuff done. When I went on an impromptu trip to Hancock's Fabrics yesterday afternoon, a lot of plans for Friday got shifted to today. No problem - I had plenty of time. After all, there's a lot you can do when you have an entire day at home!

As I sit here and type, the best part of the day is gone, and only one thing has been checked off of my to-do list. To make matters worse, around noon I was in a horrible mood and took it out on my mom. I was irritable, felt awful, and rejected any of their attempts to help. I definitely wasn't displaying the fruits of the Spirit, despite the time I'd spent doing devotions this morning.

I could blame my irritability on a host of things: the feeling that I'm coming down with a virus, womanly hormones, sore muscles, and the headache that started yesterday afternoon, woke me up with its pounding at 6:30 AM, and resulted in my taking pain relievers, eating a bit of banana, and going back to bed until 9:30 AM. But the fact remains: my reaction to these downsides of life is sin.

"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (Romans 7:15)
It's nice to know that even the apostle Paul struggled. I can definitely relate with him:
"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing." (Romans 7:18-19)
Sin can seem like a little thing. After all, everyone has their days! Fleeing interaction with others, after lunch I climbed the hill to my spot, hoping the fresh air would clear my head, then retreated to the solitude of my room. My mood affects the rest in the family, so perhaps things would be better if I just avoided them for a while, I reasoned.

Even on difficult days, however, God is still there, and He is still working. When we, with Paul, exclaim,
"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:24)
the answer is the same:

"Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:25)

As I prayed and, I admit, complained some on the hillside, God helped alter my perspective. A book I read inside" just happened" to deal with confessing sin and asking others' forgiveness, and by God's grace I was able to, though it was hard to admit my wrong to my mother. I'm human, after all. But thanks be to God - He has given me grace through the Lord Jesus Christ and guidance and comfort through the Holy Spirit.

Even though the day is half gone, I can start again with a renewed perspective. I may not have as much time as before, but the hours I do have are a gift that can be used well. I still don't feel my best, but at least the headache is pretty much gone, which makes the other things more bearable.

I have plenty to be thankful for - most of all, the grace of God that allows me to keep going even when I fail so many times. When I am weak, His strength doesn't falter. And in that strength, I will carry on.


Miriam Rebekah said...

I needed to read this. I've had my share of "bad" days recently and my reactions have been less than Christian.

I kept trying to make excuses for my behavior, but I kept being convicted. No matter what happened, the way I was acting was my choice.

I miss you, Anna! Oh, and thanks for the letter! Hope we can talk soon.

Ella said...

Everyone has bad days, dear sister, so don't think less of your self. Rather, always remember that God loves us infinitely....even on those days.

Caroline said...

I am sorry you had a rough day, but it sounds like you turned it around. Hope your Sunday is better.

Lydia said...

Thanks for speaking honestly. Speaking the truth is freeing, even though it's not always pretty. I've been going through several of "those days" this week. Praise God for his grace and that He's patient as we learn to walk through them.

Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

Owning up to faults and asking for forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do. Thankfully, we have God's help. Thank you for being an encouragement! I pray today is a day of refreshment for you!

Anna Naomi said...

Miriam: Glad it helped you. Feel free to call anytime! :)

Thank you all for your comments. By God's grace, after writing this, I was able to diligently apply myself and complete all but one of the twelve things on my to-do list. Doing things doesn't measure my worth as a person, but it was encouraging to get needed things done. And yes, my Sunday was quite restful, thank you! I'm still battling a sore throat, but enjoying this new week.