How To Handle Hard Days
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
If you think that you have troubles, let me tell you about Albert Kruger. He had one of those days that will haunt him for years. The last straw came when firemen, cleaning up a blaze that caused extensive damage to his home, greeted him at the door. His home wasn’t the only thing burned up. By that time Kruger was pretty hot himself. He told the firemen that his troubles started early in the morning when the family cat gave birth to five kittens, three of them stillborn. This upset his wife and children who, in turn, upset Kruger.
Then later in the day his dog bit somebody. To satisfy the victim who had been bitten by his dog, Kruger took the dog to the veterinarian. On the way, however, he stopped to make a phone call, and the dog jumped out of the window of the car. Immediately Kruger ran after his dog, who outran him and got away. About that time Kruger realized he had left his wallet and ran back to reclaim it. You guessed it. Somebody had gotten to his wallet before he did, and it was gone. Suffering the loss of his kittens, his wallet, and man’s best friend, his dog, Kruger turned toward home to nurse his wounds…when he was greeted by firemen.
There are days you just can’t win. Thank God, every day is not like that or there wouldn’t be a sane man walking the streets, but there are times when problems come not single file but in battalions, and it seems that we just can’t face them. As we pause for a minute and reflect, we have all had days that cause us to empathize with Kruger. If you had been Albert Kruger, how would you have reacted? How do you react when things go wrong? Remember the words of the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, “The best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry.”
Difficulties will do one of two things: They will either drive you to God for help and strength, or in bitterness and anger they will drive you further from Him. You see, it all depends on where you put yourself in relationship to trouble. You can try to put it behind you and thus it will drive you closer to God, or else that difficulty will stand between you and God, and you will grow bitter and angry.
Often our lives are so busy and filled with the pursuit of success or pleasure that we have little time for God or His will for our lives. Then difficulty strikes and your little world begins to crumble, and if you stop long enough, you will hear the still voice of God saying, “You’ve left Me out of your life.”
I’m thinking of a businessman who began climbing the ladder of success. He dabbled in church work, but really never got seriously involved. After all, he reasoned, God isn’t going to put me where I don’t want to go. He eventually became a major network news announcer. His home began to suffer. He was tense and nervous. Finally lightning struck. He was fired! As he sat nursing his wounded ego, he began to realize he had forgotten God. As the result of that crisis he turned to Christ and received Him as his personal Savior. Today he is in full time Christian work, thanking God for the tragedy that caused him to come to his senses.
God is not a cosmic killjoy who sits in Heaven engineering your troubles. To the contrary, He loves you very, very much. Yet because of that love, He may allow enough difficulties to come your way to make you realize you have left Him out of your life. When trouble knocks at your door, better decide where you will put it. Put it behind you and reach out by faith for the hand of God. Then, take on the day!
Resource reading: 2 Corinthians 4:7-18.