Sept. 2, 2009
Tough Days, Part Two
by Charles R. Swindoll
Tough days. We all have them. And most of us, if we're honest, must admit we don't handle them well. Others who love us try to help, but they tend to complicate matters.
Take the four guys who decided to go mountain climbing one weekend. In the middle of the climb, one fella slipped over a cliff, dropped about sixty feet, and landed with a thud on the ledge below. The other three, hoping to rescue him, yelled, "Joe, are you okay?"
"I'm alive . . . but I think I broke both my arms!"
"We'll toss a rope down to you and pull you up. Just lie still!" said the three.
"Fine," answered Joe.
A couple of minutes after dropping one end of the rope, they started tugging and grunting together, working feverishly to pull their wounded companion to safety. When they had him about three-fourths of the way up, they suddenly remembered he said he had broken both of his arms.
"Joe! If you broke both your arms, how in the world are you hanging on?"
Joe responded, "With my TEEEEEEEEEEEETH . . ."
No, other people can't help much on tough days. They may be good companions, but they sure can't stop the pain. Holding hands and singing during an earthquake is small comfort.
Some would advise, "Just get in there and keep busy---work harder." But that doesn't help much either. When the barn's on fire, slapping a coat of paint on the other side doesn't make much sense. If the tires are flat, driving faster is pretty dumb.
So---what's the answer? How can we handle tough days when the Enemy works overtime to persuade us that God doesn't care? I have found solid encouragement from four threads woven into the fabric of Galatians 6. See if you don't agree.
1. Let us not lose heart (v. 9). On tough days, you gotta have heart. Don't quit, whatever you do. Persevere. Stand firm. Be strong, resilient, determined to see it through. Ask God to build a protective shield around your heart, stabilizing you.
2. Let us do good (v. 10). Our tendency will be anything but that. Instead of good, we will feel like doing evil. Fume. Swear. Scream. Fight. Pout. Get irritated. Burn up all kinds of emotional BTU's. Rather than parading through that shop-worn routine, stay quiet and consciously turn it all over to the Lord.
3. Let no one cause you trouble (v. 17). Superb advice! Refuse to allow anyone (or anything) to gain mastery over you. That throne within you belongs only to the Lord Jesus Christ. Stop leasing it out!
4. Let grace be with your spirit (v. 18). Allow the full impact of grace to flow through your thoughts, your attitudes, your responses, your words. Open the gates and let those good things stampede freely across your tough day. You sit on the fence and relax.
It works. It really does.
Excerpted from Come Before Winter and Share My Hope, Copyright © 1985, 1994 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.