There is a great children's book by Judith Viorst called “Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day”. It is a light-hearted look at a boy’s day as he rolls out of bed and goes through his day when everything seems to go wrong or doesn't seem to go his way. Several times he declares he wants to run away from home to Australia. His mother consoles him by saying that “some days are like that, even in Australia”.
I can relate to sometimes having a bad day and wanting to run away. I’m sure you can too. Some days are like that. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, we feel down or blue and we struggle through the day, trying to see the good and the joy, but can’t seem to shake the doldrums. We try to find the silver lining in a situation, but sometimes we can’t see the sunshine for the clouds.
"Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again. My saviour and my God." (Psalm 42:11)
There are also times when sorrow or sadness is related to circumstances and we are grieving a loss or misfortune. At these times it’s even more important to focus on the positive things in each day, no matter how small. The smell of coffee in the morning; the sound of a bird singing; the sunshine; freshwater; food on the table; or people we love.
Even the famous theologian Charles Spurgeon struggled with depression and at times was bedridden with sorrow. His wife would tape bible verses to the ceiling of his bedroom to encourage him.
“Fits of depression come over most of us. Cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.” Charles Spurgeon.
“A joyful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." (Proverbs 17:22)
My mother was always good at trying to see the positive in a situation. Even on the worst days, she would say ‘the sun will rise tomorrow’ and ‘everything looks better after a good night’s sleep’. My brothers and I accused her of wearing rose-coloured glasses since she would often say, “look on the bright side” when there didn’t seem to be a bright side!
As I get older, I now see the wisdom and beauty of those rose-coloured glasses and I’m trying to wear them more often myself. I don’t think it’s denial or disillusionment, but a choice to see beyond the ordinary, to see past the gloom, and focus on hope. Sometimes it’s choosing not to engage in an argument, choosing to rise above complaining to see the blessings in our lives or making a conscious decision to praise God and focus on hope, rather than dwell in the darkness of despair.
Join me as I don my rose-coloured glasses and sing praises anyway!
After all, “some days are like that, even in Australia!”.