The Unexpected Gift of a No Good, Very Bad Day

The Unexpected Gift of a No Good, Very Bad Day

March 10, 2017

“Hear me, O God, when I cry; listen to my prayer. You are the One I will call when pushed to the edge, when my heart is faint.” Psalm 61:1-2a (VOICE)

Devotion Graphic

She was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. My strong-willed preschooler had been a mess since sunrise. She’d been crotchety and bossy, melancholy and foul. She’d snapped at her brothers and screamed at her sisters. She’d dismantled the bookshelf, excavated the houseplant and shredded my patience.

And when she’d finally run wailing to her room in frustration, I wanted to cry too. Or at least collapse on the coach and hold a personal pity party.

But instead of echoing her wails, I took a deep breath and followed the sound to the bottom bunk where my grumpy girl was hiding under her fuzzy purple blanket.

Lord, please show me how to turn this day around, I prayed as I eased myself onto the edge of my daughter’s bed.

“What’s wrong today?” I asked. The frustration in my voice seeped through my raspy whisper.

My disgruntled damsel peeked out from under her blankets and cast me a steely stare. I swallowed the fighting words forming on my tongue and waited in silence instead.

Eventually, five slender fingers reached for mine. I unclenched my fist and offered my preschooler a familiar hand, and with a hiccup and a moan she finally answered my question.

“I’m lonely for Daddy,” she confessed.

My heart softened at my daughter’s honest words, and for the first time all day, I recognized myself in those fiery blue eyes.

Like my daughter, sometimes I, too, find myself stuck in the middle of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Or week. Or season. Whether I’m suffering the consequences of my own crabby disposition or reeling from situations out of my control, I understand the ache when life unravels.

I know what it’s like to stumble through the hours empty and irritated, cynical and sour, to sabotage my own joy or fret over my unexpected misfortune.

And on the days I’m at my worst, I yearn for the One who knows me best. In 4-year-old lingo, that’s when I’m most lonely for my Heavenly Father.

Maybe you know the feeling?

King David certainly did. While this acclaimed man of God enjoyed times of ease and celebration, he also came face to face with his fair share of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. However, when life unraveled, David acknowledged his longing for the One who holds all things together. (Colossians 1:17)

Today’s key verse reveals that King David’s worst days drove him to call upon His best hope:You are the One I will call when pushed to the edge …” (Psalm 61:2).

Perhaps that’s how we excavate the unexpected gift tucked into the folds of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. If we pay attention to the childlike cry of our own hearts, our most frayed and frazzled moments can serve as a launching pad to propel us toward our faithful and unfaltering Father.

“We could call Daddy right now,” I said to my little girl as we sat on the bottom bunk that discouraging day long ago.

I dialed my husband’s number at work, and we waited until the drone of the ring tone gave way to the familiar hum of his voice.

“Hi, Daddy,” my lonely little lady murmured. “I need you …” My daughter cradled the phone and listened to the sound of her father’s voice. Slowly her pouty pink lips curled upward.

I tiptoed out of the bedroom and headed to the kitchen where I found dirty dishes, a wilted houseplant and an emptied bookshelf.

But before I picked up the shattered pieces of my unraveled day, I picked up my Bible and sat in the middle of the mess. And with an honest cry, this mama called out to her Daddy in Heaven. Because I didn’t want to miss the gift of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Dear God, thank You for being my best hope in good times and in bad. Give me a heart that longs for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God.” (TLB)

1 Chronicles 28:9, “Know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him …” (NASB)

Prepare your heart to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection with our Journey to Easter Scripture cards. These will walk you and your loved ones through the most important events during the week of Jesus’ death and resurrection in a way that anyone can understand! Click here to view these cards, along with the rest of our Easter collection, in the Proverbs 31 bookstore!

For more encouragement and a special giveaway, join Alicia Bruxvoort at her blog today.

Determine today what you’ll do next time you feel “lonely” for your Heavenly Father.

Colossians 1:17 says, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (NIV). Find this verse in your Bible, write it on a notecard and post it where you’ll see it the next time your day unravels.

© 2017 by Alicia Bruxvoort. All rights reserved.

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  1. Karren Geary says:

    I wish you had a key on your website that was for my own personal library. I could click it and save each daily inspirational that speaks to me about something I am dealing with. Than I could go back and reread it when I needed to. Just a thought. I have printed out a lot of your messages and have a binder of them. I have encouraged my daughter to do the same. May God continue to bless your work, Karren

  2. Juanita Aponte says:

    Its 0245 couldn’t sleep. Opened this devotion for today and WoW! Having an alcoholic for a father was hard as a child. I didn’t have a father to console my bad days but knowing I’ve ALWAYS had an Awesome, loving and caring heavenly father even when I didn’t know him is comforting. Thanks for reminding me through this devotion that my Daddy is always listening. Since I can’t sleep, he must have something to say and I’m listening.

    • Oh, Juanita, I’m SO GLAD we have a Father who listens and loves. He’s so faithful. I often climb out of bed when I can’t sleep and linger with Him. It’s some of my favorite “Daddy time”!

  3. This devotion reminded me of when my 4 year old was sick, (just a few shorts weeks ago). He had the stomach virus and was in such pain every time he vomited. I remember lying in my bed and hearing him cry out, from his own bed, “Jesus, why won’t you help me? I need you!!” I walked into his bedroom, but by the time I got there and turned on the lights, he was already fast asleep. I returned to my bed and prayed for God to wrap my baby into His arms and comfort him, allowing him to rest easy and peacefully… The next morning my son walked into my room and told me the story of how he prayed to Jesus to come help. He said, “Mom, I woke up and my belly was hurting so much. I cried, ‘Jesus, why won’t you help me? I need you!’ And then I fell asleep again. Then I felt something hug me and I lifted my head up. I saw Jesus holding me so I said, ‘Huh, Jesus, YOU are holding me?’ And he looked at me, then he smiled and I went back to sleep. Then when I woke up again, in the morning, he was gone but mommy I felt all better. Jesus really does hold you when you’re sick and he really does listen when you pray for him to help you mom.”
    Well, when he told me this, I lost it! I cried for a good while and thought of many times when I, myself, had cried out to Him and how He had always come through. It’s amazing how God will use our babies to open our eyes to such things. What a blessing!

  4. Mary in NH says:

    Thank you for this devo. I just had the experience of being totally shut down by my husband who doesn’t want to hear of my work dilemma of the day(should I work a couple of Saturdays, do we need the money that badly?). I am greatful I can take this to the Lord, who is always there for me.

    • Mary, I’m sorry for the pain that comes with being shut down. I agree with you– so thankful the Lord never shuts us out or turns away. Praying wisdom for you as you take your work dilemma to the One who knows best and understands all the details.

  5. God used a series of “no good, very bad days” two years ago when I had a health scare to bring me closer to Him. Although I was scared, I’d never felt closer to God. Praise God, I am healthy now, but I’ll never forget that time being in constant communication with Him, crying out to Him on my knees. I’ve learned to seek Him no matter what, good times and bad. I’ve also learned that if I feel distant from Him, it’s me that has strayed because He is always there! God is so good!

    • Beth, so glad you’re healthy now. You’re right- those tough times can drive us straight to our Father’s heart and somehow they end up being an upside down kind of gift.

  6. You lightened up my day as I read that in the middle of all the mess in the house, you sat down to first talk to our Father and get some relief, courage and strength to move on. The first time I did that, I thought, anyone who sees me doing this, is gonna call me crazy, I mean, even me, I thought to myself, how can you do that?! So happy to know I am not the only one doing so. 🙂 🙂 And also so glad and happy to know that it is alright to do so!

    • Jenny, I’m smiling as I picture you in the middle of your mess– it’s the perfect place to meet Jesus, isn’t it? Glad to know I’ve got another “crazy sister” finding strength in our Father:)

  7. I needed this devotion this morning. My 9 year old “little” girl is going through a horrible time right now where she does not know how to control her emotions. Our family has had a difficult year and she is dealing with a situation that no child should ever have to. But people don’t understand that, they are judgmental towards her and put her down and make her feel like she is a bad kid. Maybe I should carry this devotion in my pocket and when people are mean, hand it to them.

    • Praying for you and your daughter – and I like your hand out idea.

    • Crystal, it’s HURTS SO when our children hurt. I’m praying for you, for your precious daughter, for your family and for each person who crosses her path. May Jesus hold you all as He walks you through this tough time.

  8. Debbie W. says:

    An arrow aimed center target at my heart. I’ve had a string of terrible, horrible, no good, bad days, and haven’t been able to pinpoint the problem. I finally took my burdens to the Lord and leaned on his strength rather than mine. Something I’ve should have done a long time ago. The day wasn’t great, but my burden was lighter and I will continue to trust on His strength, grace and mercy. We were not created to navigate this life without Him. Thank you Father for loving me and guiding me back to you when I stray off Your path. “How blessed in the [woman] whose strength is in You.” (Psalm 84:5)

  9. C. Gannon says:

    Enjoy your writings so much. So relatable and down to earth. Those precious moments forever etched in your mind and on your heart. Beautiful. So so true. The years fly by. Thanks for sharing your sweet girls story. May we all enjoy those type moments for they pass too quickly. God bless you for sharing.

  10. Kimberly says:

    Days like that can be rough. That’s for sure. But I know that it can be a lot worse than just a child in a bad mood. Those are the days when you also thank Jesus for what you have and that YES! It can be a whole lot worse. Those are the days we count our blessings.

  11. I loved reading today’s devotion and being reminded that God holds all thing together. You see, I am expecting a difficult day tomorrow as we hold a memorial service for my husband of almost 38 years. While it is a celebration of his life and we are rejoicing that he is in heaven, it is still sad for me and our family because we miss him so much. I pray that God will continue to keep us strong and guide us through the day.

    • I’m so very sorry for your loss. Praying that God wraps you and your family in His loving arms and keeps you close to His heart. “The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

    • I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family. Just know that your husband will be waiting for you when its your turn to go to your forever home.

    • Pat, I am SO SORRY for your loss. I’m praying for you and your whole family as you step into this valley of grief. May Jesus carry you every step of the way. And may tomorrow be a BEAUTIFUL celebration of your husband’s life.

    • May you find HIS arms wrapped around you today. I’m praying for you and your family.

  12. Brittany says:

    This message blessed me today! I often find myself in a string of no good days, and have a hard time pulling myself out of them. In reality, I shouldn’t be attempting to pull myself of my bad day, but allowing God to meet me within that bad day and use it for His good! Thank you!

  13. Exactly what I needed after my no good very bad week with some no good very bad reactions. This Mama needed these exact words today! Thank you P31. Spending quiet early moments with my Heavenly Father right now!

  14. I was in the midst of a no good very bad day. I wailed, “Why, Lord?”

    I felt his answer. “This is what every day would look like without me.”

  15. Thank you so much for this devotional. I have been having a number of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. It’s crazy! I know I should go to my heavenly father first… His word, first. Instead, I wallow and run in circles. Thank you so much for the reminder.

  16. I feel like I am having one of those days for the past couple of years. I have been crying out to Jesus and it seems like he is on vacation. I am encouraged thought by all the other posts who have experienced being held by him. Who know maybe today will be a day that he will do that for me.

    • I am praying that Jesus will show Himself to you in a special way today. I certainly know what it’s like to be in silent seasons. May you continue to cling to God’s Word- those promises are straight from His heart to yours. Sometimes when we hold on to His Word, we begin to realize that He’s holding on to us, too.

  17. Thank you all for sharing. I’m so happy I checked in n read through each n everyone of your stories. Times are hard for everyone n we need to remember that only our Heavenly Father can calm our storms. Children are our biggest blessings n sometimes heartaches but when you bring your concern to the Lord he helps us to deal with the joy n sorrows of motherhood. Pat my condolence to you n your family for the passing of your beloved husband. May the Lord shine upon his soul n give him eternal rest. Alicia thank you for this much needed outlet. You are an amazing soul. May your ministry continue to reach out to all woman n men that need a place to come n cast their worries. This just insures us that yes we are people of God n he is ALIVE in us. I heard his voice thru each n everyone of you this morning. God bless us all!

  18. Thank you so much for sharing this. I just started a new journey in my life. I have just recently started back to college and am majoring in ministry. When we take a leap of faith for God’s plan and purpose for our life, it will get challenging. But might I add it is very worth the perseverance! God bless you sister as God uses you and mold’s you and other’s who read your blog!

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Amazing word of God! Thank you!!

  20. Love this so much. Thank you.

  21. Sally Ann Price says:

    This is a great devotional. Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed weekend. I too have had days like this.

  22. God is right on time, all the time. Thank you, Alicia! I have been in a season of horrible, no good, terrible days!! I count my blessings to help me forget about my burdens. Some days all I do is cry and beg God for the strength to endure. I know there is coming a day soon when all my tears will be wiped away and I will be with my Heavenly Father. Oh what a joyous day that will be!!

  23. Thank you for your encouraging reminder of WHO is really in control!WOW! l can sit in the middle of my broken mess, close my eyes and focus on HIS HOPE. I can talk to Him anywhere @ anytime.Calling out to Him with expectation that He knows best. Trusting Him to figure this out.THANK YOU!

  24. I?m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that?s both equally educative and amusing, and
    let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something that too few people are speaking intelligently about.

    I am very happy I found this during my hunt for something relating to this.

  25. Salena Dorsey says:

    Needed this tonight. My young husband has been battling cancer for five years and things have been getting worse. I often cried out to God but only found silence. My 7 year old daughter is having a hard time. She prayed tonight that her daddy wouldn’t pass away. I am so weary and heartbroken. I so want a miracle and my husband healed. I’m so scared to lose him. He is ft he one my soul loves. If you don’t mind saying a prayer for us and him. His name is Ric Dorsey. Thank you.

  26. Love it. Thanks for sharing!

  27. This will be one for my personal files. A truth that I need to remind myself of on my cranky days! Bless you.

  28. Your devotion brought me to tears, which doesn’t happen easily. Thank you!

  29. Eunice Alasa says:

    This one got to me

  30. Brittany Stiling says:

    How I needed to read this! I have twin 2.5 year olds. This past week has left me drained and in need of Jesus. thanks for sharing.

  31. Susan G. says:

    Thanks for this today!
    I love how we can always go to the Father and He is more than willing to be found by us!

  32. Dear Salena Dorsey ,
    I have prayed for your husband’s healing & for you and your little child.
    Also praying to our Lord to hear and honor your little daughter’s prayer for her dad’s healing.

    Your sister in Christ,

    Rama (from India).

  33. Jonathan says:

    Thank you for the reminder. I’ve had more bad days than good since my wife left me for an ungodly man 16 months ago. I’ve been so lonely, feeling forgotten even by my heavenly Father. The pain seems as fresh today as it was on that November day. I feel drained everyday. It is good to be reminded that God is there and cares for me, even when I don’t feel like it, and that He is always in control.

    Thank you

  34. Beautiful 🙂

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