Let me waste no time in saying that I have had one of the worst days that I have experienced in a good while today. Coming out of the holiday season and week of Christmas, I was not prepared to return to my regular 9-5. I was tired from the running, hungover on Christmas sugar candy (that stuff is addicting), and not ready to return to the world. I work a customer-facing job, where it requires me to communicate with the public all day.
9AM arrived, and we opened the doors to the bank that I have been a part of for approximately five years. Within seconds, a customer scurries across the lobby and makes his way over to my station. I greet him with a smile (still half asleep) and ask what I can assist him with today. He proceeds to scream and shout at me, waggle his arms in frustration, and call me profanities that I was not even aware existed. Oh! The best part was, this was all over a situation that I had nothing to do with, nor was responsible for. The fact that this man was so disrespectful to me because I could not give him $1000 when he had $1.43 in his checking account left me baffled and feeling deflated. I know this sounds bizarre to believe that someone would cast blame on me that HE spent all of his money, however these are the types of conversations you are forced into having sometimes while working with the public.
Feeling like a deflated balloon after having to deal with that as the first customer of the day, I immediately dipped my head in discouragement and despair. WHAT A GREAT START TO THE WEEK. The moment that I experienced this morning was the icing on the cake for me. I felt like giving up. Exhausted from the holidays, this moment was the end of the rope for me. I instantly wanted to leave my post, and as dramatic as it sounds give up on life.
Let me recognize the fact, that I know there are people out there struggling with MUCH more than an angry, ignorant man shouting at them for no reason. Hell, there’s someone out there struggling to even assemble their next meal, or where they might sleep tonight. I understand that. However, does that mean I can’t have a bad day?
Life can really be tough sometimes. So how do I live and know that I am not defined by the situations that I experience. This morning, I had failed at having a fresh start after the holidays. Immediately after failing, I was instantly met with discouraging thoughts of “you know what? Maybe I am just a failure.” “Maybe the big break I am waiting for, just isn’t going to come.” I am a pro at taking bad situations (most of which I didn’t even cause) and somehow blaming myself for them.
If you are anything like me, you can take a small instance like I had this morning, brew that with some negative thoughts, and before you know it have an entire view of yourself that is perverted and self-destructive. I’m not saying it’s right, but I am being honest with my struggles.
Today has left me searching for some sort of contentment. My faith came to the rescue. I believe in Jesus Christ, and I read the Bible which is believed to be a Jesus inspired book. Within that book, are multiple other books separated into halves. The old testament and the new testament. I love this Book. It is filled with hope-filled, and love stories all from people that are very similar to you and I.
In Philippians 4, Paul the writer explains how he able to find contentment in and through all situations. The answer is found in verse 13.
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all thing through Him who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:12,13
Paul had faced a variety of different situations (some much more intense that what I experienced this morning) and had learned how to be content through them all. He knew that he was of value, despite of what life told him that day. He said “I can do all things THROUGH HIM WHO STRENGTHENS ME.” He makes one of the most powerful statements to date. He explains that the secret to getting through a difficult day or life, is admitting that he can’t do it alone. He realizes that in order to be content, we have to rely on someone outside of ourself. We were not created to live life alone. In this case, Paul was telling us “I can get through hell not on my power alone, but with the help of Jesus.” Admitting that you need help is not weakness, it’s wisdom.
Listen, you are going to have sour days. You are going to be thrown into the fire of life due to things that you have ZERO control over. A lot of the things you are facing today are a result of someone else’s decisions. You faced or are facing something and it’s not even your fault. That’s how life is. It’s unfair.
I’m not writing to tell you that a life lived with Jesus is one that is absent of those moments, but I am writing to tell you that you don’t have to face those moments alone. You are not your situation you are faced with. You are not your failure. You are not your struggle. Remember that. You are beautiful and great!
You will be faced with unfair circumstances, but know that in Christ you don’t have to face them alone. Go to him with your frustration, your anger, and your stress. He wants nothing more than to hear from you. He is not afraid of your rant. He is not turned off by your venting. He LOVES to hear from you. Allow talking to God bring you peace that will pass all understanding. He’s a friend. He’s a friend that will NEVER leave you. Even if you just need to vent to him! He loves you! I pray this encourages you today.!