If you have children or grandchildren you have probably read or heard of the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It's about a boy who wakes up and everything in his day goes wrong, from gum in his hair to fights with friends and the dreaded lima beans for dinner. He threatens after every bad thing to move to Australia. He also learns at the end of the book from his mother that “some days are just like that.”
For some reason, this book came to mind this weekend. Actually, I know the reason and you might understand as well after I tell you about our Saturday night. Let me start by saying we have four granddaughters ranging in age from 6 to almost 14 that live with us. To say my husband lives in a world of girl drama (with myself and my daughter included in this world) is an understatement.
On Saturday our only grandson, Camden, was coming to spend the night. When we have one of my son’s children spend the night they sleep on an air mattress in our room. Let’s just go ahead and fast-forward to bedtime.
Camden was on the air mattress and asleep in no time. Our 9-year-old granddaughter is going through some challenges and she has a rough time with bedtime. Saturday night she had an especially hard time and finally made it upstairs and was heading to bed.
About the time she was settling in, a huge thunderstorm came up. Our 12-year-old granddaughter is deathly afraid of storms. Panic set in upstairs as she was definitely scared! In the process of the storm and the 12-year-old being scared, it upset the 9-year-old. Let’s just say there was some dramatic chaos for a bit.
Thankfully, Camden and the 6-year-old slept right through all this craziness. Finally, around 11:00 pm everything and everyone started to calm down and peace and sleep was upon the Johnson household, temporarily.
About 5:00 am Sunday morning I woke up to the sounds of a 6-year-old with an unwanted, disastrous stomach bug. Again not something any of us ever desire to have. Around that same time, Camden got up because the air mattress had a leak and he was basically on the hard floor. I’m sure that children on occasion jumping on said air mattress had nothing to do with the leak!
Let’s just say at this point I’m sure every adult in our house had been like Alexander in the book thinking what a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night and wished we could move to Australia! We can laugh about this now, but at the time it definitely was not a laughing matter.
Isn’t that what we do though? When things are stressful and chaotic we just want to run away. I feel like this has been the narrative of our life lately. One crisis after another and sometimes just living in “survival mode.”
Some days you get in bed at night and you might be disappointed in the way you handled things or maybe just glad the day is done. If things have not gone well on this day or even if you have not reacted the way you wanted to the day's issues, God gives you a do-over and a new day to have a fresh start.
I always think of Lamentations 3:22-23: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” It really doesn’t get any better than knowing every day is a new day with God.
To me, the words in these two verses are some very comforting, encouraging and reassuring words from the Bible. The definition of “steadfast” means firmly fixed in place, immovable, and not subject to change. God’s love for me and for you will not change no matter how “very bad” our day might seem. His immovable love for me will never cease. Because of His love for us we are given mercy. His love is not subject to change so it allows the flow of mercy that will never end as well.
Honestly, if you have placed your hope and trust in the Lord you have access to the same unending love and an endless supply of mercy every day. I can go to bed at night totally exhausted and emotionally spent and every morning I wake up I am given a new day, with new opportunities, renewed hope, and unending love from the One who loves me completely. I have to remind myself often that just because I am a believer doesn’t mean there will be an absence of trials or trouble in my life. It does mean I am a recipient of God’s unchanging, unending love and a daily supply of mercy from my faithful Savior.
It’s a new day of my life, with new possibilities, and endless opportunities. I am at the point in my life where I know some days will be good and some days not so good. If the day before has been not so good, I have a fresh start to the next day with a clean slate.
The desire of my heart is to be an example to my children, my grandchildren, my family, and my friends. However, I know they might see me mess up at times. I know they might see me have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I pray they will also see that with God there is still hope, there is forgiveness. He is faithful to allow me to have a fresh start and new mercies for each day.
Alexander’s mom in the book was right when she said, “Some days are just like that.” What she didn’t know is that God can and will change those days if we just allow Him to change us. He can offer comfort when we feel terrible, supply hope when our circumstances seem horrible, offer forgiveness when we mess up, and provide new mercies when we have had a bad day.
Our story with God allows us hope, love, forgiveness, mercy, and do-overs. I am forever thankful and grateful for new mercies and new days with Him. I can’t imagine where I would be and what I would do without the love of God!
Jill Johnson, a staff member at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, finds spiritual applications in her everyday experiences as a wife, mother, grandmother and Georgian. She is available to speak to your church's women's gatherings. Reach her at email@example.com.