So you know those mornings when nothing seems to go right? You spill coffee on the new shirt you just slipped into ten minutes ago. And, of course, you don’t have time to change it because your son’s gloves have gone AWOL. Tempers flare as you search frantically through the house before rushing into the van for morning drop-off.
And then when you get back home, you discover that the burner accidentally got left on the stove and the remains of scrambled eggs are now scorched forever into the bottom of the frying pan…
I’m just going to assume that if you decided this post was worth reading, you know exactly what kind of days I’m talking about. I’m profoundly thankful that few of my days have been marked by actual, life-threatening disasters. But a string of minor catastrophes or family disputes can knot me up into a tangled mess. My nerves are set on edge. My heart gets discouraged. And my hopes for the day scatter like crumbs on the kitchen table.
Sometimes this all happens before breakfast.
Whatever the exact circumstances of these mishaps, I always end up in the same emotional space: Overwhelming frustration. Things feel out of control, and my frustration gets pointed at any number of people who contributed to the chaos. But honestly? My deepest anger points to myself because I didn’t handle the stressful situation well. I lost my cool. I lost my temper. I lost my nerve.
I don’t know about you, but when I get into these crazy moments—these days where it feels like nothing is going my way—I head in one of two directions. Sometimes, I embark on a sled of self-pity, heading swiftly and violently downhill. I feed the negative feelings, expect more bad things to happen, and turn into a cranky, short-tempered, and self-focused wreck.
My husband just loves it when I choose this way of handling things. It’s so fun for him.
There’s a sort of distorted joy in focusing on all the negatives, but even in the middle of it, I know it’s a terrible way to handle my feelings. I just see all my frustration spilling out into an ugly mess onto the ones I love.
At a deeper level, it’s also causing a disconnect between me and God. In choosing to view my day through the lens of despair, I’m ignoring His presence, His peace. I’m convinced the devil has a special string of lies he pulls out on our bad days—knowing we’ll be vulnerable, he aims them at our hearts and lets the arrows fly.
Maybe I deserve this awful day, the arrow of deception pierces my logic. Surely even God doesn’t want to deal with me when I’m all muddled up like this.
I’m learning that in the midst of all those negative emotions and spiraling thoughts, I can make a different choice: Instead of caving into those lies, I can fight back with the truth.
My entire day doesn’t have to be a disaster—even if a lot of things are going wrong. Because right there—even in my most frazzled, frustrated, and furious moments—God is still present. Still in control. Still willing to fill me with His Spirit of peace in the midst of the storm.
So instead of sitting in self-pity and turning into target practice for Satan’s lies, I’m learning to reset my thoughts and my heart with truths from God’s Word. (I’m also convinced that God created chocolate for these very moments.)
The key is that I need to Give. Myself A. Moment. To. Breathe.
Maybe that’s exactly what you need right now too?
Below is a list I turn to when I need those reset moments. I share the lies that my mind starts to rehash on bad days—and the Bible verses that help me see right through them. I hope they can give you perspective for your own messy days. Just because circumstances unravel around you doesn’t mean your heart has to fall apart too.
Lie #1: This day is out of control. You’re out of control. Everything is out of control!
The truth: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Lie #2: You haven’t handled things well, so God’s angry with you.
The truth: “But you, O LORD, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15).
Lie #3: If God really loves you so much, He wouldn’t let these things happen.
The truth: “The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever” (Psalm 138:8) and “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
Lie #4: You’re on your own. No one really cares about your bad day so just get over it.
The truth: “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest’” (Matthew 11:28).
Lie #5: You can’t do this anymore. You might as well give up.
The Truth: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Lie #6: It’s hopeless. Nothing can make this day better.
The truth: God can answer this prayer: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:10-12).
So what about you? Do you have certain lies that wiggle their way into your heart when your days turn upside-down? Do you have favorite Bible passages that help you catch a breath after out-of-control moments? I’d love to hear about them. So drop a comment below—and maybe they’ll encourage someone else going through “one of those days”!
Would you like to keep these verses handy for your next stressful day? Grab this set of pretty FREE Scripture cards that can remind your heart what’s true.
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