No good, very bad days

Pastoral Messages | September 19, 2017

As a child, one of my absolute favorite books was “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” As you might guess from the title, the book details a (very bad) day in the life of a red-haired, teen-aged boy named Alexander. From the moment he wakes up and discovers gum in his hair, it’s clear this day is no good.

From there, things seem to get progressively worse. Among other things, he stubs his toe when he trips over his skateboard in his room. He has to go to the dentist and learns he has a cavity. Alexander’s best friend Paul decides someone else is his best friend. Worse yet, when he gets home that evening, he discovers his mom has made lima beans for dinner—and Alexander hates lima beans.

At the end of this long, frustratingly awful day, Alexander goes to bed as his mom tells him, “Some days are like that.” And with that, the book ends.

As a child, I remember wondering what happened to Alexander the next day. Hoping, for his sake, it was better. Did he wake up without gum in his hair and his toe feeling less sore? Did his tooth stop hurting or maybe he got to eat pizza instead of beans for dinner that evening? We’ll never know.

Like Alexander, all of us most certainly have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. They are unavoidable at any age. Maybe it’s a flat tire instead of a visit to the dentist. Or more substantial grief in place of not having the most delicious dinner. But we’re all bound to have not-so-good days.

When I crawl into bed after such a dreadful day, my closing, sleepy thought is to think about what the next day will bring. Mostly, I remind myself of the promises made to us in the Old Testament book of Lamentations: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.”

For me, there’s something about the sun coming up on a new day. The promise of a new start no matter how unpleasant the day before was. The interesting thing about our faith is that nowhere in the bible does God ever promise us we won’t have bad days. Terrible, horrible ones even. “Some days are like that,” God might say, sighing right along with us.

But throughout the bible, God promises us a new start. The gift of grace that tells us we can always begin again. Every morning, the chance to see God’s goodness in our lives. Some days are no good and very bad. But maybe not tomorrow. God’s mercies are new every morning.

Katy Warren, associate pastor

10 Comments on “No good, very bad days”

  • Jana Baltimore

    September 24, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Lovely message and reminder that everyday is a fresh start, a new beginning…as “God’s mercies are new every morning”

  • Diana Holland

    September 21, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    One more home run.
    Thank you for sharing right on the mark comments.

  • Ronda Bird

    September 21, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Katy! I like the image of God sighing right along with us when we have “one of those days.” (By the way, I used to do reading/writing lessons with this book. It’s favorite of children and adults alike!) Thank you for the reflection.

  • Jordan D

    September 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    This is just what I needed for these past few days. Thank you for the reminder to have faith that tomorrow will be better!

  • Carrie C.

    September 21, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Its been a very frustrating, bad day at work for me today. I happened to open my email and read your message. It is just what I needed to read! Thank you, Katy!

  • Don Garrison

    September 21, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    There are those days. I have added Orphan Anne”s theme song to memory ever since first seeing the musical. ” The sun will come up tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that it will. Just wait and see”. Sally and I thank God every day for his continued presence in our life.

  • Heidi Watkins

    September 21, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Some days are like that, even in Australia. ????
    Thanks for the reminder, Katy, that each new day brings with it “the chance to see God’s goodness in our lives.”

  • Vida Luth

    September 21, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    You are so correct. The very best thing is when I go to the YMCA to swim between 5:30 and 6:00 (a.m.) I see the majesty of God renewing the day as the sun comes up over the treetops. It is magnificent every day, and everyday I thank God for giving me a new day.

  • Kyle B

    September 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks, Katy. As always this is a very good message and it was much needed today.

  • Lucia Moore

    September 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks, Katy……I too have been a big fan of Alexendar and as I recall, didn’t he have a red, green and white strip zebra/horse that he blamed everything on when he was a little boy? I read this to my boys, grands and the kids I tutored at Ericson in Moline and Madison. We do all have some really horrible, bad days but sure enough, as God is with us, the next day proves that God loves us even if the check-out person does not.

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