Some days can just be the pits. Events throughout your day seem to be stacked against you. Nothing goes as planned and everything just seems to go wrong. And when someone asks you how you’re doing, all you can say is, “It’s one of those days” and immediately they can relate to what you’re saying for they’ve also experienced “One of those days”.
Indeed it is one of those common threads that run from one human being to the next. The circumstances may be different, but we all experience times when things go wrong. We have problems that we couldn’t expect. And we face temptations that seem to come at us all at once.
Temptations and problems can be summed up with one word – afflictions.
When we think of affliction we tend to look to what we would call the bigger things, the death of a loved one, disease, losing a child. But what about the everyday afflictions, events that are more common in our daily lives? It’s easy to notice the bigger ones because they are, well, bigger. They get our attention quick. And we are more quick to turn to God in them because they are so overwhelming and they are out of our control.
But what about the everyday afflictions – the temptations we face and everyday problems? What about them? What do we do with them when they interrupt our routine?
Fish are interesting creatures to keep. Jalynn had a goldfish named Kermie. Kermie started out small. But as time went on, he grew. (I say “he” because Jalynn clearly stated that Kermie was in fact a boy…Honestly, I have no idea what gender Kermie was!) So I had to take him to the next size bowl. This was an involved process. First, you’d have to get Kermie out of the bowl which is just about as easy as getting a husband to go shoe shopping! Kermie would swim and dive for cover near the closest shell. And about the time you’d think you had him cornered, he’d somehow turn into Invisi-Fish and swim threw the net as if it wasn’t there!
Now you need to think like a goldfish here. Kermie had no idea what was going on. All he knew was that something had entered his normal day and disturbed it. Something bigger than he was interrupted his normal routine of eat – poop – sleep – repeat. (Yes I know fish don’t have eyelids, but they do have an energy saving state they enter, so yes, they do sleep – just not how we think)
Kermie had no clue that what I was doing was ultimately for his good. He was going to get new rocks, new shells, new abandoned pirate ships, and a new home to live in. He had no idea that I had his best in mind. He didn’t understand that what I was doing was going to work for his good. Reminds me of Paul’s words in Romans,
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
I understand that Kermie was just a goldfish but hear me out – God allows afflictions to happen in our lives and they break into our normal day just as I did with Kermie. And when we are in the middle of “one of those days” and its difficult to understand what’s going on, we have an assurance that God means it all for our good. He causes all things to work out for our good. Often that comes as a result of drawing us closer to him if, say, we’ve neglected time spent with Him. Other times it might be our turn to face the trials of temptation, to prove our faith, not to Him, but to ourselves, so that we affirm in ourselves that we are indeed choosing Christ.
When we have “days like this”, we are to seek after what God is doing and what He wants us to see. We can’t be caught thinking “why me”. When we are thinking “why me” we are focused on ourselves. However, when we change our focus from “why me” to “what God is doing”, we turn our eyes back to where they ought to be – on Him. If we take Him at His Word, then “days like this” work together for our good. And that means we seek after what it is that God wants for us. When it seems we are in the pits and we’ve had one of those days, that’s the time to look for God. When things go wrong – when we face temptations, you can be sure that God is working!
This week, we’ll explore God at work in our lives when we face the everyday afflictions, the problems and temptations. We’re going to focus on keeping ourselves aware of them and look for God in them. And that’s where God will take the ordinary “one of those days” and make them extraordinary!