Have A Good Day!
How many times would you guess that you have said these four simple words in your lifetime? I can’t even begin to imagine how many times I have said them nor can I imagine how many times I have prayed for a “good day.” When my middle daughter was a child, her every night bedtime prayer included the words, “Thank you so much for this day, I liked it so much!” She recently admitted (at age 18) that she remembers not wanting to say it one night in particular because it had been a really bad day and she didn’t want to thank God for it! I think we can all relate, can’t we? I certainly can, but it also got me thinking about how we pray and what we pray for. I often ask God for a “good day” either for myself or for someone else. Then at the end of the day, I tend to evaluate whether it was a good day or not. Do you do this too? I generally recall all that I am thankful for that the day brought such as ways God blessed me or my family, things that I was able to accomplish, or ways I saw Him show up, or not! Sometimes all that I can muster up is a thank-you for the bed I am finally getting to lie down in to go to sleep!
Recently, my mother-in-law (Judy) came for a visit from Wisconsin. She flew down and stayed with us for two weeks and then we whisked her off to the airport for the trip home again. I distinctly remember praying the morning she was leaving for God to give her a “good day” and a safe trip home. My husband and I believed this prayer was answered when we left her with a wonderfully kind and intentional, airport employee who assisted Judy to her gate in a wheel chair as the walk is just too far for her. We were forced to say our goodbyes at the security check point, but this dear woman assured us that she would take great care of Judy for us! We would later discover, upon our arrival home again two hours later, that this dear, airport employee left Judy at the wrong gate and she missed her flight home and would have to wait six more hours in a wheel chair for the next available flight!!! We were horrified, concerned, upset and felt so bad for her and her “horrible day!” She would eventually get home at 12:30 am completely exhausted and emotionally drained. As I laid down that night and considered my prayer for her that morning, it was very tempting to believe that God had not heard my prayer and He obviously had not answered!
However, … He got me thinking about HOW and WHAT I had prayed for. I had prayed for a “good day” and a safe trip home. I would venture to say that she would never characterize this day as “good!” However, God kindly reminded me that she did in fact get home safely! The “good” part is what He had me pondering and the error in my simple, though well meaning, prayer. He had me consider what a better prayer would have looked like such as, “Please go with Judy and let her feel your presence today, whatever the day may bring;” or “Please give Judy patience during her travels as any form of travel can present any number of challenges and reasons to complain or become irritated;” or “Please give Judy peace as she flies alone and show her your love through those who will serve her today.” After all isn’t the measure of a “good” day for the believer, all of these things? However, if we don’t go any deeper than “good” with God, we can look back with disappointment, blinded by the “good” that did in fact occur.
God forbid that any of us should go to bed at night refusing to have a conversation with our heavenly Father before we fall asleep (like my toddler daughter) because we feel that He failed us in some way in our day. Rather, may our eyes be opened to just how GOOD God is and how He does in fact answer our prayers in many simple and often overlooked ways. After all, we know from scripture that being a believer does not guarantee us a care-free life or one free of the trials and unfortunate circumstances that an unbeliever may face. Conversely, we are told that we should expect suffering, trials and temptations, BUT we are to be encouraged and strengthened by the promise that God will never leave us or forsake us and WILL see us through whatever comes our way. The challenge is to not leave His side when we do face these things. We must persevere with faith and trust in His promises to sustain us, no matter what. The moment we turn away in doubt though, we can be certain that the enemy will be quick to begin to whisper in our ear and our minds that God is NOT good and will NOT be with us, and we had better give up hope. This is in fact what the enemy is best at (lying that is!) and I am afraid we can be all too quick to listen to his lies.
My sincere prayer for you and I is that we can see the good that God is providing to each of us on a daily basis. May our eyes be opened to all of the little things that we can too easily take for granted and begin to thank Him for His abundance of good gifts including the gift of a “good day!”
So, I leave you with these four simple words and I pray that you hear them with new ears and consider the day that God gives you today: Have a good day!!!
"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24