How to have easy, breezy, trouble free days

I have a tip for you, friends of mine.

If you write a blogIMG_1036 post about people who steal your joy, be prepared for the beliefs you have expressed to be tested. Possibly by multiple people, possibly on the same day and possibly within hours of each other, almost like they’ve done a bit of a tag-team effort. Maybe a memo went out? Who knows! I have one request, if, as I suspect a memo did go out and you received it – give us a heads up next time!

So what do you do when your day begins with an interaction designed to knock you sideways?

Of course I could rattle off the standard responses, I’m sure you could too: Have you remembered that you are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you? Have you prayed about it? Have you read your Bible? Have you spent some quiet time with God this week?
What if it’s a day when you can answer yes to all of those things?
This day you’ve prayed and you’ve read your Bible, you’ve committed your day to God and all that is ahead. You’ve done the right things, and all of them before you checked Facebook (that’s got to be worth some extra points, surely).
Unfortunately a fair number of us have talked ourselves into believing that if we do the right things then life will be easier. In doing the right things we’ll have earned our easy day. We’ve ticked all the boxes for the things good Christians do each morning. I think some of us believe that, if we’ve committed our day to God and all that is ahead – then what that really means is that it’s going to be smooth sailing and in doing so, what we also believe is that we won’t really need to rely on Him for anything.
I think there are times when we approach these activities in the same way that the superstitious sport person approaches his/her pre-game routine. If I do this, and this, then this and then that, I’ll be fine – we’ll win the game.

This is not the reality of life.
This is not the reality of the Christian life.
This is not the reality of following a man of sorrows, a man who was despised and rejected, a man whose own people would have nothing to do with him and betrayed him.

What we really need to recognise is that God’s goal for us is not to have all our days trouble free, not to have every day smooth sailing and that His purpose for each of us is to continually mould us into the men and women we should be. He knows that in my case this is not going to be accomplished on days when I can do everything in my own strength. I know this too, but I forget. I have amnesia when it comes to the part I have to play – I am not hero of my own story. God is not glorified in the days when I choose not to rely on Him. He’s not glorified on days when I think I’ve got it all under control.

So on a day like today when my daisy petals are removed before I’ve even realised I have daisies and I fall all too quickly into a foul, defeated mood and a “nothing’s worth the bother” attitude, it becomes very clear, very quickly that He’s not finished with me yet. In fact I would hazard to suggest that perhaps days like these will keep coming along as long as I keep missing the opportunity for growth. Sadly in some things I’m a slow learner. I’m quick to anger, slow to learn, quick to rage and vent, slow to simmer down and settle. My default for myself is still wrong. My default advice for others is amazing, but for myself it’s still wrong.

I’m not even sure if anyone was selling the idea that I bought, but I bought it and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it appealed once again to that part of me that thinks that I can somehow earn the favour of God. I can be good enough so that He looks at me and sees me and all my efforts and says “well she’s done all the obvious things for today… one trouble-free day coming up.. she’s got this one without me”. The reality is; He is giving me days that are easy for Him and that could be a breeze if only I’d learn to rely on Him more, more on His strength and less on my own. I think then even days like today will be easy days because the lesson has been learned, and my default has changed. I think they’ll continue after the lesson is learned, I probably just won’t notice them – they won’t be as hard.

So what do you do when your day begins with an interaction designed to knock you sideways?
I guess the answer for me is, to forget the check list of things I’ve done correctly that should have “guaranteed” me a trouble-free day, and focus on leaning on Him. Focus on learning how to rely on God.. and remember that as long as I think a day committed to God means trouble free I’ve misunderstood some fairly key aspects of the Christian life and walk.

Far too well thy Saviour loves thee,
To allow thy life to be
One long, calm, unbroken summer,
One unruffled, stormless sea;
Conway F —

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