Do you ever have those days where you wake up and think "alright, let's get this over with." Maybe there's an exam you have been dreading or a decision you just don't want to make. Or maybe it's just a rainy Monday and you would rather stay in bed with a warm cup of coffee than step foot into a dreary lecture hall (been there!)
My favorite part of these days is when they turn around and end up way better than I could have ever anticipated. You know, like when that exam turns out to be a breeze, the barista gives you a larger coffee than what you paid for, or the rain stops just long enough for you to walk from your dorm to class.
Those are the days I absolutely adore!
And then there are the days where the opposite occurs. The days when the job you applied for doesn't accept your offer, the grade turns out much lower than you ever could have imagined, or when your relationship takes a turn for the worst.
Those are the days it seems a little harder to get through.
I was recently reminded of this when a common worship song came on my car radio, "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" by Matt Redman. It's not a new song, and I've sung it enough at church services and Christian camps to know the words by heart. This time, however, a certain section caught my attention.
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes
Many days, like the last day of my freshman year of college, begin with me singing God's praises. I was incredibly grateful to be almost finished with a full year of college. Then, hours later, my day took a wicked turn as a shooter opened fire less than a mile from my dorm. I still had much to be thankful for, but by the time I went to bed that night, my praises had turned into pleas and questions.
That day, as well as the few to follow, brought about new challenges for my prayer life. I was now dealing with the stress of leaving school, my friends, and the room I had turned into a home an entire week sooner than I had planned. In a time when I should have leaned on God more than ever before, I tried to console myself, staying busy with packing and a few last outings with my friends before we went our separate ways for the rest of the summer.
I knew God was there, but I was scared to tell Him what I wanted to say.
It was in this time I had a friend reach out to me over text. She asked how I was and I told her about my spiritual struggles. Her advice was for me to sit down and talk to God. Regardless of what I had to say, He wanted to hear from me, even if that meant questions and disagreement. Because at the end of whatever I had to say, He would still know my heart and my needs better than I ever will.
Minutes after receiving her text, I was in my spiritual war room, telling God all that had been weighing on me over the past 24 hours. And, just as my friend told me, He was eager to hear from me. He gave me peace on moving out after such an unexpected end to the school year and hope for what was to come. When the evening came, I was beginning to sing once more.
Looking back, I'm almost ashamed of how I had gone spiritually silent during one of the most trying days of my life. In Acts 16, Paul and Silas sang their ways through a long night in a prison cell, the night before their planned executions. They did not go silent in the ways I had, but they "sang praises" because of all God had allowed them to do and would still do through them. Their connection to the most powerful Hero of all not only freed them from their prison cell, but freed their guard from a life without knowing Jesus.
I should have been singing. After all, there was so much to be thankful for. I was healthy. I had friends there with me. I was out of harm's way. I was so blessed.
I couldn't change how my perspective was in the moment, but I could change how it was from that moment forward. I could count my blessings (although they are infinite ,) and I could lean on the Father (Who is always, always, always eager to hear from me.) Since then, the bad days have been better than I expected, and the good days have no longer turned to disappoint me in the ways they used to do.
As Matthew 6:34 says, "each day has enough trouble of its own," but regardless of what that day brings, by the end of, I'll still be singing.
God is still good in the bad days. He does some of His best work through grief, heartache, anxiety, and confusion. When I reached out to God the least, He was holding onto me the most.
That day was bad; even so, God is still good.