Everyday Deserves a Chance to Be a Good Day
Doesn’t every day deserve a chance to be a good day? After all: “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24 NKJV). The first word into the verse leaves us scratching our heads. “This is the day the Lord has made”? Perhaps holidays are the days the Lord has made. Wedding days are the days the Lord has made. Easter Sundays, super sale Saturdays, vacation days, the first day of hunting season? These are the days the Lord had made. But “this is the day”?
“This is the day” includes every day. Divorce days, final exam days, surgery days, tax days. Sending your firstborn off to college days.
That last one sucked the starch out of my shirt. Surprisingly so. We packed Jenna’s stuff, loaded up her car and left life as we’d known it for eighteen years. A chapter was closing. One less plate on the table, voice in the house, and child beneath the roof. The day was necessary. The day was planned. But the day undid me.
I was a mess. I drove away from the gas station with the nozzle still in my tank, yanked the hose right off the pump. Got lost in a one-intersection town. We drove, I moped. We unpacked, I swallowed throat lumps. We filled the dorm room; I plotted to kidnap my own daughter and take her home where she belongs. Did someone store my chest in dry ice? Then I saw the verse. Some angel had tacked it to a dormitory bulletin board.
This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
I stopped, stared, and let the words sink in. God made this day, ordained this hard hour, designed the details of this wrenching moment. He isn’t on holiday. He still holds the conductor’s baton, sits in the cockpit, and occupies the universe’s only throne. Each day emerges from God’s drawing room. Including this one.
So I decided to give the day a chance, change my view, and imitate the resolve of the psalmist, “I will rejoice and be glad in it.
If you can stack one good day on another and another, you link together a good life. But here’s what you need to keep in mind.
You no longer have yesterday. It slipped away as you slept. It is gone. You’ll more easily retrieve a puff of smoke. You can’t change, alter, or improve it. Sorry, no mulligans allowed. Hourglass sand won’t flow upward. The secondhand of the clock refuses to tick backward. The monthly calendar reads left to right, not right to left. You no longer have yesterday.
You do not yet have tomorrow. Unless you accelerate the orbit of the earth or convince the sun to rise twice before it sets once. You can’t live tomorrow today. You can’t spend tomorrow’s money, celebrate tomorrow’s achievements, or resolve tomorrow’s riddles. You have only today. This is the day the Lord has made. Live in it. You must be present to win. Don’t heavy today with yesterday’s regrets or acidize it with tomorrow’s troubles. But don’t we tend to do so?
We do to our day what I did to a bike ride. My friend and I went on an extended hill country trek. A few minutes into the trip, I began to tire out. Within a half-hour my thighs ached and lungs heaved like a beached whale. I could scarcely pump the pedals. I’m no Tour de France contender, but nor am I a newcomer, yet I felt like one. After forty-five minutes I had to dismount and catch my breath. That’s when my partner spotted the problem. Both rear brakes were rubbing my rear tire! Rubber grips contested every pedal stroke. The ride was destined to be a tough one.
Don’t we do the same? Guilt presses one side. Dread drags the other. No wonder we weary so. We sabotage our day, wiring it for disaster, lugging along yesterday’s troubles, downloading tomorrow’s struggles. Remorse over the past, anxiety over the future. We aren’t giving the day a chance.
How can we? What can we do? Here’s my proposal: consult Jesus. The Ancient of Days has something to say about your days. He doesn’t use the term day very often in Scripture. But the few times he does provide a delightful formula for upgrading each of yours to blue ribbon status.
Saturate your day in his grace. “I tell you in solemn truth,” replied Jesus, “that this very day you shall be with me in paradise” (Lk. 23:43 wey).
Entrust your day to his oversight. “Give us day by day our daily bread” (Lk. 11:3 nkjv).
Accept his direction. “If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me” (Lk. 9:22-24 cev).
Grace. Oversight. Direction. G-O-D. Fill your day with God. Give the day a chance.
Excerpt from Every Day Deserves a Chance by Max Lucado.
Copyright © 2007 Max Lucado, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Used with permission.