Everyone is overwhelmed. Have you noticed that? There’s so much going on, so much happening that none of us have any control over. Some of it is good. Some of it is great. The rest of it is awful and scary and horrible. Whether it’s the economy or health issues or job problems or family problems, everyone I know seems to be experiencing some crisis that they can’t control.
Maybe that’s just life.
But how encouraging is that? “It’s just life.” Yes, that’s true, and the sooner we accept that life is difficult and broken and flawed, the sooner we can move on (psychologically) to the fact that this life isn’t our permanent home.
But permanent home or not, we still live down here. And we’re going to live down here for a little while longer until Christ decides it’s time for us to go home.
So how do we handle those difficult days when people we love are sick and there’s nothing we can do about it? How do we handle those difficult weeks when we don’t know where our groceries are going to come from? How do we handle those difficult times when the stress at work is so bad we’re teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown?
For me? I praise God. Even for the bad stuff. Especially for the bad stuff. Because as Christians, we know that God can take the bad stuff and make it something beautiful. He’s the only one who can. And the reason He lets us experience bad things is so we can grow, not only in our faith but closer to Him.
So on bad days, I turn to the Psalms. Today hasn’t started. And who knows? It might turn out to be a good day. But some Psalms are perfect for good days and bad days. Kind of like this one. It’s a good reminder that when we’re having a bad day, we need to say good things about God. … and that on good days, we need to do the same thing.
Psalm 103 (The Message)
O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.
God has set his throne in heaven;
he rules over us all. He’s the King!
So bless God, you angels,
ready and able to fly at his bidding,
quick to hear and do what he says.
Bless God, all you armies of angels,
alert to respond to whatever he wills.
Bless God, all creatures, wherever you are—
everything and everyone made by God.
And you, O my soul, bless God!