As a kid, one of my favorite books was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I’d giggle and groan as my mom read to me every awful thing a boy named Alexander experiences in a single day.
First, Alex’s breakfast cereal is missing a prize. Then he doesn’t get the seat he wants in the car, his mom forgets to pack dessert in his lunch bag, his dentist finds a cavity, an elevator closes on his foot, and he gets pushed into a mud puddle.
Throughout this harrowing day, Alexander repeatedly exclaims, “I think I’ll move to Australia!” In the end, his mom reassures him that everyone has bad days—even Australians. Alexander learns a valuable lesson: it’s OK to have bad days.
When Bad Days Get the Best of Us
Today, of course, my bad days are a little more complex than when I was four years old. Back then, my biggest worry was whether or not I'd get to play with my favorite toy in the sandbox. Today, my bad days are filled with health scares, break-ups, and unexpected bills.
The funny thing is, even though I'm "all grown up" now, I often act just like Alexander did when confronted with a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I’ll just move to California, and all my worries will go away, I’ll think. Or, If only I could buy that perfect dress or those magic vitamins, everything will be OK. But at some point in the day, I realize my wishful thinking won't fix anything at all.
In those moments—when it feels like a bad day can only get worse, and I long to escape it—I ask God for guidance. I seek God’s wisdom in his Word. Like Alexander’s mom, God tells me that pain and heartache are a part of life for everyone. Bad days are an opportunity for me to bring my worries to the Lord. When life gets overwhelming, God steps in and comforts me.
If you need God’s comfort during a horrible day, take some time to reflect on these truths from his Word:
Bad days happen to everyone. It’s not your fault.
Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.
He sets the time for birth and the time for death,
the time for planting and the time for pulling up,
the time for killing and the time for healing,
the time for tearing down and the time for building.
He sets the time for sorrow and the time for joy,
the time for mourning and the time for dancing — Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 (GNTD)
You aren’t alone. God understands what you’re feeling.
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. Grief and anguish came over him, and he said to them, “The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me. Stay here and keep watch with me.” — Matthew 26:36-38 (GNTD)
God is here for you. You can tell him your worries.
Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you. — 1 Peter 5:7 (GNTD)
Things will get better. God has a good plan for your life.
I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. — Jeremiah 29:11 (GNTD)
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