There is nothing like having a simple cold or falling ill unexpectedly to remind us not to take for granted the simple but precious things in life. Yes, I have been in and out of bed for the last 48 hours unable to do anything much. It is just a cold, but enough to stop me on my tracks and potentially steal my joy. Joyce Meyer, Christian author and speaker, always says that when you lose your joy, you lose your strength, and the devil walks all over you.
The bible also tells us in John 10:10 that “The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” One of the innumerable blessings that God showers his children with is the ability to locate and recognise the “joy stealers” in our everyday lives; to recognise the set of circumstances that when taking place all at once, will send us into a downward spiral of self-pity, negativity and ultimately depression. I can’t say I always succeed at immediately recognising when I am on the verge of that spiral, but I am learning to react sooner, every time I see the “thief” knocking on my door.
It is easy to exhibit all the character traits of the person that we strive to be, when everything is going our way and there are no setbacks, but the real test comes when circumstances start working against us. That’s when we show to those around us what we are really made of; what lies behind the face and the talk, what lies deep in our hearts. Well, so far I have not done brilliantly today. I have just picked up the kids from school and they always come home like a pack of ravenous wolves who had their last meal months ago. In between sneezes and hot flashes I have handed them everything they are asking for, but it is not long before I lose my temper and start shouting at them like a mad woman.
It is at moments like that, when I have failed to do or in this case not do, what I knew I was supposed to, that I remind myself of that scripture above (John 10:10). Christ died on the cross for me and millions of others; that we would be reconciled with our Hevenly Father and live a life free from guilt and condemnation. So onwards and upwards! I am not the perfect mum that I would like to be, but I don’t think I am meant to either.
I started this blog saying that there is nothing like having a bad day for whatever the reason, to make us realise how we may have wasted some of our “better days” by having a stinking attitude, or perhaps by not having appreciated and given thanks for those good days as much as we should have. Well, the bible tells us to be rooted in the word of God and we are told to do that for a simple reason: when we are rooted in the word of God, we are able to fight and win our personal struggles much more easily than if we did it on our own strength.
I finish with some Scripture which will never cease to inspire and encourage me to keep striving to be the better person that I would like to be:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praise-worthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4, 5-9
I intend to follow that advice and I therefore leave you with something that is true, right, excellent and lovely. Turn the volume up and don’t forget to give thanks to God for the good days and for the bad ones too, for it is through the bad ones that we can come to a place of genuinely appreciating how truly great and full of God’s grace the good days really are.