How to Turn a Bad Day Good
One morning recently I woke up full of determination. I have been pregnant and experiencing a lot of fatigue and morning sickness, but not today. Today I was feeling good, energized, alert. And I was going to take advantage of it. I had a long to-do list, but it was doable. I’ve gotten a lot done in one day before. I could do it again. I was going to get work, run errands, and shorten that ever lengthy list. And at the end of the day I’d feel pleased.
Of course, you can guess what happened. Breakfast took twice as long to cook as I thought, my husband needed my help with something, a friend called me in crisis and needed to talk, my swimming outing with my sister took twice as long because the pool was closed so we had to drive to another one… and pretty soon, it was 5:00pm and the day was over. I got maybe 2 or 3 items on my to-do list done. Frustration and disappointment mounted. “How am I ever going to get things done around here?” I thought. And I resigned myself to try again the next day to be better, though suspecting I may be just as led astray and upset in 24 hours once again.
Every day most of us go through life striving to accomplish many things in order to have a sense of value and self worth; when we fall short of our own expectations, we are disappointed in ourselves. We feel like we don’t measure up. We just aren’t as good as we thought we were. So we get upset, and punish ourselves with guilt, and try harder. And the cycle continues. But let me ask you: how does God define “good works?”
Ephesians 2:8-10 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” So according to this, it is God who prepares good works for us to do in our lives, and He says what they are, not us. That means that despite what we feel must be done, God’s goals for what must be done often differ.
So my day may look a little different from His view. I see a day full of distractions and a dismal failure. But how does He see my day?
Today Nicole woke up and prepared her family a nutritious meal, showing her love for them and concern for their health. She spent quality time with her husband, strengthening her marriage. She was there for a friend in need, showing generosity with her time and care for the welfare of God’s people. She went the extra mile to find just the right swimming pool to give her sister a fun experience, not giving up when her original plan didn’t work out. She took everything I gave to her today, and did all the good works set before her to the best of her ability. I am pleased and proud. – God
It is hard to accept this different view of the world. It is hard to put aside our plans for those God has put before us. And it is even harder to have a good attitude while your plans get derailed! But the simple, profound fact is that God views this world so much differently than we do. The world defines success through money, wealth, accomplishments, and actions that everyone sees. But God defines not only our success, but our very destiny, through our saving faith in Him and how we show love for Him and one another because of the power of the faith in our hearts. It is not by our works. Let me repeat. Our faith, our purpose, is not defined by what we do. It is defined by what we believe and who we are. In Genesis 1 God says He made us in His image. In other words, we are made to be like him, just like we are created similarly to our biological parents. He is proud of us, like a proud daddy, and he says we are beautifully and wonderfully made. We are full of the purpose and great destiny He has planned for our lives since before we were born. We are precious to Him. We are His masterpieces. And no amount of “missed goals or tasks” in our lives on Earth will ever change who we are.