On a recent trip from Southeast Michigan to Cincinnati, OH I was caught for 2 ½ hours in a terrible traffic jam. I was suffering from a severe bout of the stomach flu. I drove to the office the next morning in a big snow storm and came very close to sliding off the road. I was relieved to arrive at the office and see dry pavement ahead of me in the parking garage. Then I heard a very loud bang as the garage door malfunctioned and came crashing down on my car. I was having a bad day, and frankly feeling a bit sorry for myself. Sometimes it seems that circumstances all conspire against you and there is not a thing you can do about them. The old “why me?” complex was settling in fast.
Then I remembered Kevin Wells. Now this is a man who was having a bad day. Without any warning the blood vessels in his brain burst and he came very close to death. But Wells had no room for self-pity. He knew that God was with him and he has held on for dear life to God and his healing love. Wells’s story is outlined in a new book: Burst: A Story of God’s Grace When Life Falls Apart, which will be available for purchase later this month. (Be sure to keep checking our online catalog!)
Wells states: “In his apostolic letter Salvifici Doloris, Pope John Paul II wrote that suffering must serve for conversion, that is for the rebuilding of goodness in the subject.” Every bit of my pain—at least what I would consider to be profound, life-altering pain—had better trigger change and spiritual maturity within me. Everything in life happens for a reason, including our anvils.”
Was I going to let my bad day win out, or was I going to let it serve for conversion in me? Gratefully I was able to focus on the Lord’s gracious help and get beyond my quick decline into self-pity. My days are full of opportunities to choose—faith in God or settling into a bad day. I’m learning to be quicker to choose faith. How about you? Have you had any bad days lately?
Photo credit: EA