Like everyone, I suppose, there are days when I hit a wall. Energy zapped, mental load maxed out, left feeling worn, overwhelmed, powerless. I have felt this way more days than not the past couple weeks, and have no idea why.

While it might be normal to have days like this, it’s dangerous to stay that way.

There was a day recently that needed a do-over from the very start. I was impatient with the students at school, short-tempered with my family, even annoyed by my dog. None of them deserved any of that. It wasn’t their fault. No, it was all me. Scrolling through social media later made it worse. I’m learning that the tired, worn out me inevitably becomes the ridiculously over-sensitive me.

All day long I kept thinking that if I just could get to the next thing, I would be fine. Where I normally look forward to my time at school, that day I just wanted to go home. Once I was home, I just wanted to go to bed.

It’s so easy to make excuses and chalk things up to a bad day. Even if I could pick it apart and try to justify all the reasons, it doesn’t erase the damage that has already been done.

My bad attitude had nothing to do with my circumstances

and everything to do with the condition of my heart.

That’s right. The reasons don’t matter. Our reactions do.

We have too much to be thankful for to give in to a bad mood or sulk over circumstances we wish were different.

Jesus understands why it’s so easy to be discouraged by the world around us. Turn on the news and in less than a minute you’ll find a reason. Likely, you’ll find lots of reasons.

This world is full of hurting people who don’t know anything different than to act out on that hurt. They are lost and without hope. Without peace. Without joy.

They have every reason to act hurt, sad, and frustrated. We, as Christians, do not.

So what does that mean? Are we not allowed to have a bad day ever?

Well, of course that’s not what I mean. There are going to be difficult days. That’s normal, expected really. But it’s how we handle a bad day that says everything about our faith in the One we are trusting our days with.

In the 4th grade class I assist we are reading through the Gospels, and are finishing up Luke right now. I’ve read all four of those books more than once, but it always amazes me how each time something new stands out. This time it was a verse in the 21st chapter, when Jesus is talking about the end times. In verse 28 he says,

But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads,

because your redemption is near.

Those words brought more comfort to my heart than I can adequately express. Do you know why? It reminded me that Jesus really does understand how hard things can be here. He knows we are going to have days where we feel weary, where it all just feels too overwhelming. And he loves us so much that he knew as he was speaking these words that several hundred years later, you and I would need them.

It kind of blows your mind, doesn’t it? He knew then. He knows now.

This right here? It won’t last forever. He will come for us. But in the meantime, look around a bit – we are crazy-blessed. This world? It’s beautiful. The people he gave to walk alongside us? Also beautiful. I can’t even begin to imagine how much fun Heaven is going to be.

So what do we do with all this? Well, here’s what I’m doing. I don’t know if we are in the end times now or not, but it certainly feels like it. I’m sure generations before us have felt the same way. But because we were told to live every day as if Jesus could return at any minute, I’m going to think of this verse and smile.

If you just can’t pull out of that funk, then stop and figure out if there is something deeper going on that needs attention. I am never going to be one who tries to sweep mental health issues under the rug, so if that’s what you’re dealing with, please seek help. Start with your doctor, and go from there. But if it’s just a blah feeling that you can’t get past, try taking a walk, or take a hot bath, call a friend, or the ultimate fix for an attitude adjustment – spend time with the Lord. Lay whatever it is at His feet, and ask for help. He will do it. He will.

Our redemption is near, friends, and it’s time we start living like it.

When you look around and it just feels like too much, stop and think about what you CAN do. You can love your family well. You can disciple your children to follow Jesus. You can be a good neighbor by offering to help with a project, checking in on someone you haven’t seen in awhile, taking a meal to someone who is sick or injured. You can pray for the people God has blessed you with. You can be known as “the encourager” at work. You can be the one at the grocery store with a smile on her face, saying hello to people, making them wonder what it is that makes you so joyful.

I have a feeling that when we do things like this, people will start to ask what it is that makes our outlook on life so very different from theirs.

And there, right there, is your opportunity to tell them. Don’t miss it.

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