…death to the eraser…

“It’s one of those days.”

We hear that quite a bit in our culture. And, assuredly, there is no misunderstanding as to what that means. It’s like a secret handshake at a lodge meeting, once you say it’s one of “those” days everyone nods and maybe offers a sympathetic smile of encouragement.

We don’t particularly like “those” days, or “those” mornings, or “those” evenings. We wish they wouldn’t happen to be quite honest. A life with far less of “those” days would be a much happier and restful place.

In something I’d read out of a Leadership Journal magazine by John Ortberg, our normal idea is challenged. He says this:

Imagine you’re handed a script of your newborn child’s entire life. Better yet, you’re given an eraser and five minutes to edit out whatever you want. You read that she will have a learning disability in grade school. Reading, which comes easily for some kids, will be laborious for her. In high school, she will make a great circle of friends, then one of them will die of cancer. After high school, she will get into her preferred college, but while there, she will lose a leg in a car accident. Following that, she will go through a difficult depression. A few years later she’ll get a great job, then lose that job in an economic downturn. She’ll get married, but then go through the grief of separation.

With this script of your child’s life and five minutes to edit it, what would you erase? Psychologist Jonathon Haidt poses this question in this hypothetical exercise: Wouldn’t you want to take out all the stuff that would cause them pain?
If you could erase every failure, disappointment, and period of suffering, would that be a good idea? Would that cause them to grow into the best version of themselves? Is it possible that we actually need adversity and setbacks—maybe even crises and trauma—to reach the fullest potential of development and growth?

– John Ortberg

If you could erase all of “those” days, would you?

I’m not saying we should be thrilled with hard times, bad times, or tough times, but I would suggest that we, as those who believe in the sovereignty of God should be able to see them, at least, as redeemable times. Nothing is unredeemable when God is involved.

I have to believe that it was one of “those” days when Jesus was beaten and whipped and nailed to the cross. In fact, if there’s ever been one of “those” days, that was it. But God saved the world through the perseverant obedience of His Son.

I’m not suggesting your bad days aren’t bad, I’m suggesting that maybe they’re bad for a reason. I’m not implying that your tough times aren’t tough, I’m trying to encourage you by saying that on the other side of the tough is something glorious (which, in a way, makes the tough times themselves glorious by reflection).

Friends, perspective is important. I encourage you to put down the eraser and embrace the hope of God’s ability to redeem everything from a bad commute to a family tragedy. He will blow our minds every time, in His time.

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