Your rickety alarm clock jolts you into the oncoming traffic of another day. Off to the races you go. The kids are too sick for school, so you need to find a sitter – and quick. Oh, and your parents need one too. Their usual caregiver is vacationing in the Cayman Islands for another three days. Lucky her. You could’ve taken care of this yesterday if only you hadn’t had to wait in traffic for two hours after your evening board meeting.
You make a few calls. You swallow your pride and even resort to begging because you can’t afford to take another day of work right now. Once everyone is squared away, you scurry off to pack a quick lunch – only to find that it’s time to go grocery shopping again. You make a mental note to stop and grab a few things on your way home. You throw your head back in defeat, slowly close the door to your empty fridge, and wipe the accumulating sweat from your brow. It’s not even 7 a.m.
No time for slowing around, though, so you throw on some dryer pressed clothes and stuff your whiny children into the car. Thank goodness your sister has the day off today. As you fire up the engine and tune your radio to the morning news, you stare out of your foggy, cracked windshield and brace yourself for the face-off you’re about to have with a not-so-cooperative boss. Feels like the day has already smacked you around the ring before you even had time to tie on your gloves.
Life. It happens to all of us who are living, just as it happened to all those who lived before us. We spend an average of 75 years stressing about education, finances, climbing the corporate ladder, and staying within our proper weight range. Not to mention the bedlam thrown at us by our children, spouses, and other family members. But even though life stressors are as natural as breathing, we don’t have to be overtaken by the woes of everyday life. The Bible, one of the oldest and most read books of all time is chocked full of inspiration and encouragement, urging us to wade through life’s murkiness with a renewed mind and spirit.
Most of us will admit that at some point in our lives, it feels like a battlefield. One thing after another. Relationship issues, family dysfunction, unemployment – it never seems to end. Our enemies are at our heels and our shortcomings are in our faces. But, according to the Bible, “no weapon formed against us will prosper” (Isaiah 543:17), and we are already more than conquerors (Romans 8:36-37) even though we feel like we’re being defeated.
And during our weakest moments, when the world seems so big and our weapons seem so small, John 16:33 reveals that through Christ, we can still have an inkling of peace amidst the chaos. We can still find a rainbow hidden in the storm clouds. He even tells us that it’s ok to be weak, because His grace will provide all that we need (II Corinthians 12:9). When we are weak, He is still strong, and being aware of our limitations should ultimately draw us closer to that source of strength.
And a personal favorite is II Corinthians 4:8-9. Trouble finds a way to infiltrate the most peaceful of lives. Suffering is always that uninvited guest that constantly knocks at our door. But we don’t have to get entangled in these earthly affairs. According to this passage, trouble doesn’t have to distress us, perplexities don’t have to depress us, persecutions shouldn’t make us feel alone, and dejection doesn’t have to destroy us.