One of my favorite children’s books is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.
The little boy goes to sleep with gum in his mouth, and wakes up with gum in his hair…and the day only gets worse from there. It is definitely a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
Sometimes my day is like that.
Sometimes my life is like that.
Sometimes, I feel like singing, “It hasn’t been my day, my week, my month, or even my year.”
Some days are just a…
We’re tempted to whine and complain like the little boy in the book. We’re tempted to wallow in our misery and tell everyone within earshot how horrible our life is. We’re tempted to lie on the floor and kick and scream for all we’re worth.
…or at least burn a scathing swath across Facebook.
Unfortunately, that’s not in the job description of Being a Grown Up.
So, what do you do when life hands you a heapin’ plate of trouble?
How to Fix a Bad Day
1. Admit you’re upset.
It’s amazing how much better I feel when I admit, “Look, I’m not happy about this.”
But I admit it to God. Not to Facebook.
God isn’t surprised. He knows I’m flesh (Ps 103:14). He will never be shocked by anything I tell Him. All of my secrets are safe with Him.
2. Adjust your attitude.
I cannot control my circumstances, but I can control my response to my circumstances.
My future is God’s business. But my attitude is my business.
Sometimes adjusting my attitude is simple as taking a nap or eating a snack. Sometimes, I just need to get by myself and take a deep breath.
Whatever it takes, I have to decide that life is the way it is, and that I am going to have a good attitude in spite of it all.
3. Allow God to work.
If I am whining about my problem, then not only am I missing out on whatever God is trying to teach me in this situation, but I may also be hindering His work in the lives of others.
God’s goal in my life is to conform me to the image of His Son (Rom 8:29). He often uses trials, disappointments, and bad days to do just that.
4. Accept God’s grace.
Grace is the strength and the power to do what God has for me in this day and in this moment.
God will never put anything on me that I cannot handle with His grace (I Cor 12:7-10).
It may be something I don’t want to handle, but it will not be anything I cannot handle with God’s grace.
In those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, weeks, months, years…
Don’t spend your time wishing it were different. Don’t spend your energy wallowing in your misery. Accept that life is what it is, and trust God to give you the grace to handle it as He works in you and through you to do His will.