Times have been pretty hard, lately. We have had many ongoing issues in our family relationships, the car I drive to and from work broke down completely, we have faced significant financial pressures, I have had another bout of ill health, and there have been several stressful things happening at work. Then, too, I have struggled to keep up with course work for a 1/2 semester course that in spite of having only two credit hours, packs in way more work and expectations than the full semester course I took in the fall worth four credit hours. Most days, I wake up wondering how I’ll make it through.
However, a recurring thought keeps coming unprompted into my head: Every day is a gift.
Most of my life, I have been a worrier, a glass-is-half-empty kind of person. The mindset of thankfulness and anticipation in these words — Every day is a gift — is simply not me, or at least, not the usual me. But these words keep repeating themselves in my mind, and I find that they give me much-needed perspective on whatever has happened or will happen in a particular day. I take them as a Divine reminder.
Another boost comes from listening to a relatively new song on Christian radio by a guy named Josh Baldwin. The song is “Stand in Your Love” and these words that form the opening lines speak to me:
When darkness tries to roll over my bones
When sorrow comes to steal the joy I own
When brokenness and pain is all I know
I won’t be shaken, I won’t be shaken.
Then the chorus:
My fear doesn’t stand a chance
When I stand in Your love
I have repeatedly come close to quitting my Master’s degree program this semester, thinking to myself, “Why on earth should I do this extra thing, something that requires a great deal of effort, at such a time when many other things in my life are overwhelming and I’m falling apart?” It isn’t just that it’s a lot of extra stress and work, but that it feels a bit selfish of me. When I noticed my car starting to behave oddly on the way to work one day, then decided to leave early to try to get home, only to have it quit working a mile away in the middle of a busy intersection, I was at a complete loss. We had just spent a lot of money on a repair and we have no money whatsoever to pay for another repair or for a new car. My heart and spirit have been crushed by difficult things happening in my own family, over and over again, and I don’t know how much more I/we can take.
Yet I know that God is in the midst of all of it with me. Although I continue to struggle, somehow, He makes a way through. That car trouble that a repair shop priced as costing more than the car is worth? The dealership agreed to pay for all of it and gave us use of a courtesy vehicle for the past two weeks, free of charge. The enormous amount of end-of-course workload I couldn’t see a way to complete on time, let alone do well? It all got done on time. Those stressful, difficult events and circumstances at work? Well, they continue, but I feel a healthy measure of peace and detachment about them most days, and I’m grateful for the level of support my coworkers have repeatedly shown to me. Those difficult family relationships? They are still there, and a whole lot more needs to be worked out, but at the moment, things are a little calmer.
Life continues to be hard. But those words — Every day is a gift — continue to echo in my mind, multiple times a day. They encourage and lift me up, and I hope they will do the same for you.