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Preparing in Advance for the Hard Days

Posted May 15 2013 10:00am

“For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?” (Ecclesiastes 6:12)

Some days we groan only seconds after waking. Our first thoughts, if directed above at all, are a plea for strength. It is those days that take monumental effort to get moving. It takes a miracle of grace to cultivate a half reasonable attitude on such days. We need all the help we can get. Been there? Are you there?

Here is a trick that has served me well on such days. I have a letter written to me, by me. On rough days, if I remember to, I read it. When I do it always helps. It is custom made after all, so the wording is always just what I need to hear.

I write these letters on days that I am feeling fairly well and generally positive. I call these ‘on’ days. My attitude is up (by God’s grace) and my pain is not overwhelming my every thought. My writing is going smooth and ideas come swiftly. On such days, I get in the mood to tackle 100 things that come to mind but of course my body will only allow minimal productivity.

So after I start to tackle one of these jobs on my list, I will need a rest for my body even if my mind is ‘rearing to go’. Then is when I write myself a letter of encouragement. I jot down my positive thoughts and get my productive mental energies down on paper. I know exactly what I will need to hear on my not so victorious days. This has worked well for me.

I will share an example with you:

Hey Elizabeth!

I know you are struggling or you wouldn’t be reading this. I am writing to remind you that not every day is such challenge. This is only a 24 hour day and you know how things change, wax, and wane. Try not to let it get to you, I know it is hard. I want to remind you that you have made through many of these kind of days. Sometimes even victoriously!

You know God is on your side and you know He will not waste this experience. Try to figure out a way to benefit His Kingdom in this. Go deeper into the Word than you did yesterday, or pray long and hard for someone in dire straits. There are many good things you can do with your ‘down’ time, but I know your mind is foggy, so I am giving you ideas.

If you want to you can even write me a letter telling me off! Tell me all about how lousy you feel and how hopeless it all looks. I know you, and you, like the psalmist David, will end up counting your blessings and praising God before you are finished.

You are not so bad off, not on the inside. Your heart is true and your Savior adores you and has proven it time and again. Be gentle with yourself, give yourself the same level of compassion you have for others. God is good and you will survive this, and even if you didn’t, you’d have Heaven to enjoy. Either way you win. Hang in there; better days ahead.

As you can see I use a bit of tongue in cheek humor with myself. You will know what works best for you, like I said, it is custom made.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that no season lasts forever here on earth. Help me to look at the big picture when I am feeling poorly and tempted to despair. Your Beloved Son understood that sorrow is temporary and He used that to strengthen Himself to carry out Your plan for our salvation. Thank You Father, that we do not have to live forever like this. Thank You for Hope and Heaven. Most of all thank you for Your Son Jesus Christ and His obedience onto death for my sake. I offer this prayer in His precious name, Amen.

About the author Elizabeth Vendley is the wife David, and lives in North Central Michigan. They have raised seven children. Elizabeth has lived with severe Interstitial Cystitis since 1996. Her passion is glorifying the Lord by writing out the lessons He has taught her. She would love to hear from readers through the Sunroom.

What do you need to hear on rough days? Do you ever write a letter to yourself? Is there a special song or video you plan to enjoy for a lift on difficult days? What other things can you think of to put in your ‘rainy day kit’?

I feel like saying, “Okay, put your hands together” but this is one of those kinds of songs. “Alright” by SuperChic is a great reminder that life is chaotic, we are all tired, it is hard, and yet, it is all gonna be alright. It was a good reminder for me today as I posted this devotion. -Lisa

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