Overcast skies, clouds, and rain are a part of the real world. They make the majority of us long for nicer weather with sunny skies. You do realize, though, that there are some people who have never seen a rainy day, correct? They have never seen a sunny day, either. They have never seen anything with their physical eyes. Why not? They are blind. How is your day going?
When the children of Israel faced a scenario where it looked like they would lack food, they complained (Exodus 16). When they faced a situation where they had no water, they griped again (Exodus 17). When they lost people whom they loved, they grumbled once more (Numbers 16). There was a recurring pattern for Israel in the wilderness: (1) face a situation that involves unpleasant matters, (2) be unhappy, even disgusted about it, and (3) express their unhappiness by complaining to Jehovah.
We look at the Israelites and shake our head in amazement. Why were God’s people not grateful for what they had? Why could they never learn to be content? Why could they not grow up and discard their childish pouting and self-pity? What was wrong with those people?!
One day, reality hits home when we look in the mirror and see that at least sometimes, and for some of us, perhaps we do it frequently, we fall into the trap of thinking and talking like the Israelites did while they were in the wilderness . . . lack of gratitude, lack of satisfaction, and a whole lot of self-pity.
Things happen in life which are not pleasant. Things happen to our clothes, our bodies, our living places, our finances, our vehicles, our relationships, and our jobs. And when they happen, they upset us. In some cases, they really upset us. In some instances, we remain really upset, and whatever it is that has us upset dominates our thoughts. We cannot let it go, and we are miserable. When we are miserable, the tendency is to broadcast our misery to others, often with a tone of complaining as we proclaim to anyone who will listen, “I am having a bad day!”
When he was seventeen, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and he was transported against his will to a foreign country (Genesis 37). How is your day going?
Joseph’s father, Jacob, saw Joseph’s bloody garment, concluded that Joseph was dead, and mourned for his son (Genesis 37). He did not get to see Joseph again for twenty-two years! How rough has it been on you to be separated from your family for a short period of time during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Job lost all ten of his children in one day (Job 1:2,18,19). Is that the kind of bad day you are having?
A son of David (Amnon) raped a daughter of David (Tamar), and as a result another son of David (Absalom) killed Amnon. Did you say that your family is facing some internal challenges?
The armies of a foreign nation (Babylon), whose language Daniel did not understand, carted him off as a prisoner to their land (Daniel 1). Is that the kind of misery you are facing?
Stephen was stoned to death because he preached the truth about sin and Jesus (Acts 7). How is your day going?
The apostle John either witnessed or was informed about the murder of his brother, James, at the hands of King Herod (Acts 12). How does your day compare?
Paul was cast into prison on numerous occasions, though he was not guilty of a crime (2 Corinthians 11:23). Is that the kind of bad day you are experiencing?
More than once (at least five times, actually) that same Paul was beaten with thirty-nine stripes/ lashes (2 Corinthians 11:24). How is your day going?
The pain that we experience is real. When our body is being attacked by cancer, it is not fun. When our relationships or finances are struggling, it is painful. Yes, people are hurting in a number of ways.
As Christians, though, there is reason to have a positive outlook. We rejoice in the Lord because of our salvation (Philippians 4:4). We have the hope of an eternal inheritance in heaven where there will be no bad days (1 Peter 1:3,4). May we learn to be content with our material blessings (1 Timothy 6:7,8), and may we learn not to be complainers (Philippians 2:14).
Today, just like every other day, God is good. How I respond to today’s happenings depends on me.
— Roger D. Campbell