Have you ever just had a bad day?
A day when nothing - absolutely NOTHING - goes according to plan?
When the computer crashes with your final draft unsaved?
A day when the dog literally eats your homework?
When - despite your most valiant efforts - you are late to every appointment, you miss every turn while the GPS informs you that it is "rerouting" yet again, and every single meal is spilled on your favorite shirt?
Ever been there?
And I can tell you from experience: it's not awesome.
But it also...can't be avoided.
Somedays are just...bad.
So, what do we do?
Matthew 11: 28-30
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
#1 - We come to Jesus.
Just as we are - in our stained up shirt, in our messy van, in the middle of the Wal-Mart parking lot (oh, is that just me?)… we make an altar among the fast food wrappers and we bring all the terrible, horrible, no good, and bad to Jesus.
#2 -Yoke yourself to Jesus.
During the time that Jesus spoke these words, fields would be full of oxen "yoked" together - pulling the load and plowing the fields together. A younger oxen would often be yoked to an older, stronger one who had more experience and could guide the young one through the fields.
So...those terrible, horrible, no good, really bad days we live through, we don't have to figure out on our own. We don't have to carry the weight on our shoulders. We can rest in this: We are not alone. And the 'yoke is easy' and 'burden light' because when we're yoked to Jesus - we can rest in His strength, His lead, and His power.
#3 - Learn from Jesus.
Stop right where you are. Open your Bible. Dig into a devotional. Grab a journal and sit with Jesus. Ask Him to lead you, teach you, and show you what to do. To "learn" from Him is to take the role of a student at the feet of a Rabbi (teacher). Every answer to every question this day has brought to you is found in Him, so lay down your thoughts on how to "fix" your day and ask Jesus what to do. Let Him take the lead. You won't regret it.
Years ago, I found myself completely lost in a new town with two toddlers and a baby in the back seat of my minivan. The baby was crying for milk, the toddlers were getting restless, and I was on the brink of a mini meltdown when I finally stopped my car in an abandoned parking lot and asked God for help.
"God, it's me. I don't know what to do. I know you are here with me. This whole day has been a mess. I have no idea where I am and I missed my appointment. I need your help. Show me what to do? I am so done."
Was it the most beautiful prayer? No. But did God hear it? Yes. Looking up, I saw a sign for a park. Following it, I found the bathroom the toddlers needed, a place to feed the hungry baby, and hours of fun with a my little ones on one of the most epic playgrounds I have ever seen. Getting back in the car a few hours later, I began to remember landmarks and buildings that we passed along the way and, before long, had found our neighborhood.
That night, my boys told their daddy about their perfect, wonderful, amazing afternoon with Mama and I found myself so thankful. God had redeemed the mess. He had brought joy out of chaos. He had saved a day that felt "unsavable."
And if He did it then, He can do it now.
"...and you will find rest for your souls..."