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Have a Good Day! (Part 2)

Me (Rachel Buggs), Barbara Jackson (my mom) and Robert Jackson (my dad)

Last summer I posted a blog on the topic of seeing the “good” that God provides in our day(s) and the importance of not overlooking all of the simple ways that He shows us His presence and care over us and our loved ones ( I shared how quick I am to evaluate at the end of a day whether it was “good” or not and whether or not God was faithful to answer my prayers from that morning asking for a “good day.” In my simple mindedness, I can be so quick some days to conclude that God forgot about me or didn’t answer my prayer when in fact He was in so many (if not all) of the details. I know that I would be able to see this more clearly if I would just be willing to change my perspective!

I was recently reminded by my friend Judy that this very principle was just played out again very clearly in my life and the life of my family. You see my 83 year old father was recently hospitalized for a procedure that we were desperately hoping would answer our prayers for healing from some debilitating health issues he was experiencing which began last year. My dad is in excellent health, generally, having taken great care of his body throughout his entire life through healthy eating and diligent exercise, so these health issues took us by surprise and greatly distressed us all, including my mother and two older sisters. We all want so badly for this surgical procedure, which offers great hope, to return my dad to his previous normal activities of gardening, yard work, reading and bible study. And we also have great faith that God can use this or any means to heal my dad and have prayed over him on several occasions, anointed him with oil and trusting God for the outcome.

While this surgical procedure offers great hope, it is not a guarantee for improvement, as with all medical procedures or medications. We understand the Lord is sovereign over all things and are trusting Him for His will to be done. This being said, it is very hard to sit in a hospital room for several days, praying and waiting! Many of your can relate I am sure. My mom and I were especially weary from a restless first night’s sleep in my dad’s room, waking hourly to nurse checks and wrestling with a hospital futon and recliner that do not promise anyone a “good” nights sleep. Over the next two days, my two sisters and I would take turns sitting with my parents passing the time the best we could. I believe it was on the third day following surgery, that we believed we were seeing some positive results from the procedure. On this day all four of us were there for the majority of the day with my dad. We decided to pass some hours playing trivia on my computer. Hospital seating being limited, I plopped myself at the end of my dad’s bed after navigating and overriding the many alarms and alerts that went off for sitting on his bed! The others were gathered around in makeshift hospital seating in a room not really meant for four visitors at a time! However, we had such a fun afternoon passed with laughing and smiles, many of which coming from our dad. I thought to myself in that moment, “Yes, we are in the hospital for my 83 year old dad, hoping and praying that he will improve. Yes, we are all tired and our emotions and thoughts are strained, especially our mom’s. Yes, we would all rather be at my parent’s home enjoying a ‘normal, good’ day with nothing going wrong.” HOWEVER, I thought to myself, “This has been a very GOOD day.” The moments we had together were so very sweet and so enjoyable. We had no guarantee that things were going to get better, BUT we still had TODAY and it was a VERY GOOD DAY!

Later that evening a dear family friend stopped by the hospital to check on dad and say hello. It was so good to see this gentleman as us girls had not seen him in many years and his impact on our family as a pastor and friend from many years ago was great. He asked my dad how he was doing to which my dad replied with a shrug and words that went something like this, “I don’t know. Okay I guess. I mean I’m in the hospital and all, BUT it has been so great to have my whole family here around me and we have had the best day.” As he said this, tears of joy filled his eyes. He had felt it too - it had truly been a great day - hospital room, monitors, tubes, IV bags and all. Because we were together enjoying great fellowship, AND God was with us! We truly enjoyed and made the most of our TODAY and in that saw that it truly was a “good” day.

Can we all take this to heart a bit? None of us knows what tomorrow brings. God does not guarantee any of us a tomorrow. That being the case, we have got to make the most of today. We have got to see our “today” through God’s eyes and from His perspective and enjoy the moment, live for today and His purposes for us, believe that He is with us as He promises in His word (Hebrews 13:5), and trust Him no matter what the day brings. In Hebrews 3:7-8, the author exhorts us with these words, “Today, if you hear his [God’s] voice, do not harden your hearts…” The author goes on to tell his reader, believers in Jesus Christ, that if they will soften their hearts, take note of God and tune their ears to Him, He will give them REST. However, the author makes note of the Israelites in the wilderness who couldn’t see past their current discomfort and lack and who longed for days gone by that they believed had been better. Because of this they couldn’t recognize what God was doing in their midst, in the current moment, in their “TODAY.” As a result, these Israelites were NOT able to enter into God’s rest, which was made manifest in the Promised Land.

Can we all learn from the Israelites’ mistakes and stop looking in the “rear view mirror” to see better days refusing to look forward because of fear of what the future and our current path may bring, and simply enjoy the ride, and our current location, whatever that may look like? I am not suggesting that this is easy, nor is it our human nature. Because this isn’t easy, know that we may need to invite others into our “car” so that they can encourage us and enjoy the current moment and ride with us, and this requires vulnerability! But know that God is right there with you, and with me, in the front seat, and He will NOT leave our side. If you and I will trust Him, He can and will give us REST. And then you and I will see and count every day that we have on this earth as a GOOD day!!!

So, I say again and exhort you all with these words, “Have a GOOD day!”

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).

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