Remember that book you read as a kid? Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (by Judith Viorst). The little boy Alexander wakes up, and from the moment he opens his eyes, everything goes wrong. His chewing gum ends up in his hair, he trips on his skateboard and drops his sweater in a sink full of water.
And that was all just before school!
On the way to school, Alexander doesn’t get a window seat. His teacher tells him not to sing so loud and reprimands him for skipping a number when counting. His friend leaves him and there aren’t any cookies in his lunch. The dentist tells him he has a cavity, the elevator door closes on his foot, he gets pushed into a mud puddle and gets into a fight. He’s the only one who gets in trouble for being muddy – and for fighting.
At the store, they’re out of his sneakers. At his father’s office, he makes a mess of everything. At dinner, they have lima beans, which Alexander hates. There is kissing on TV, which he also hates. His bath was too hot, he got soap in his eyes and he has to wear his train pajamas, which he also hates. At bedtime, he bights his tongue, his nightlight goes out, and the cat won’t sleep with him.
Throughout his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, Alexander decides that he’s going to move to Australia.
But at the end of the day, his mom tells him that
even people in Australia have bad days.
I don’t know about you, but I have days like Alexander. I have weeks like Alexander.
And the less I’ve been in the Word that week,
the more prone I am to find ALL of the little
things that have gone ‘wrong.’
You know, those days when the shower is too cold, my alarm didn’t go off and so I’m late for teaching my class, when my students are out for blood because I took off points that they thought they deserved. Those days when my lunch explodes all over the microwave and when my students take forever in the lab. When the grading piles up and the dishes do too, when the house is a mess and the laundry isn’t done, when I run out of a medication and my phone dies and my favorite shoes break and I remember that I’m single and alone. When I lie awake at night unable to fall asleep, unable to get that much needed rest.
Those days…those weeks – we all have them. They’re exhausting. Frustrating. And they’re always terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. Every time I have one of those days…or weeks…I have to remember that all of those things that went wrong – in the grand scheme of things – they’re just a drop in the bucket. Life has its mountains and its valleys. Life isn’t always easy. There are days that it really is going to be terrible, horrible, no good and very bad.
But what keeps me hanging on is that God didn’t just leave us here
to fend for ourselves. He didn’t say, “Oh, you had a horrible day.
So we’re done. I’m dropping you from my Book of Life
because you couldn’t hack it today.”
No! Not at all! Instead, He gave us grace.
And unconditional love. And mercy.
And another chance. And another chance. And another chance.
When you have those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days – and we all will – remember that you get another chance. To fix your mistakes, to apologize, to try again. To accept His grace, and His forgiveness. To love others as He has loved you. To enjoy His creation and bring glory to His name. And maybe, just maybe, your day won’t be all terrible, horrible, no good and very bad. Maybe you’ll see some rays of hope, some sunshine through the rain. Because they’re there. I promise.