“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:1-2
Ever have “One of those days”? Surely you have. If you haven’t had one recently, get ready. It’s coming. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I finished up a taxing workday, picked up my daughter from school, and we made the thirty-minute commute home. I dropped my daughter at home and headed to the grocery store. We were out of everything. Cat food. Shampoo. Milk. Other things. I had to go.
While I was at Wal-Mart, I decided to go ahead and do the regular grocery run so I wouldn’t have to go back. So by the time I made it up to the checkout lines, my cart was pretty full. It was then that I took a peek at my phone and noticed two missed calls from my best friend. Hmm. I wondered what she wanted. I called her. She didn’t answer.
Then it hit me. She was supposed to pick me up and we were going to ride together to a women’s dinner and meeting for church. I was, at that moment, supposed to be home and dressed in a cute outfit waiting for her to pick me up. I was not supposed to be standing in the middle of Wal-Mart with a buggy full of groceries.
The weight of the day and the full impact of my mistake overtook me. I lost it right there in the middle of Wal-Mart.
Then my phone rang. It was my friend. “You forgot, didn’t you?”
Of course I forgot.
“I’m so sorry!” I cried.
“It’s okay. I should have called and reminded you today.”
This is why she is my best friend. If she was mad at me, she didn’t let it show. I told her to go on without me, and I would come late. Awesome.
Suddenly there was no checkout line with fewer than five people waiting. No way was I going to get out of there in less than thirty minutes. I could leave my cart and go on home, but I really needed the groceries. So I made a decision. I went for the self-checkout lines.
With a full cart of groceries.
I was a machine. I was a crying machine, but I was a machine. I scanned all my groceries, bagged them, and was headed out the door in ten minutes. I sped home, my darling kids unloaded my van, and I flew upstairs to change into my cute outfit. Still crying.
I’m not usually such a crybaby, but it had been one of those days. My sweet husband hugged me and let me cry on his shoulder, but I just didn’t have time for much consoling. I had to go!
I threw on my cute outfit, put on some really snazzy high heels, and repaired my makeup. I wrote down the directions from my computer to the house where I was going, and flew out the door. Without my cell phone.
Or a coat.
I made it to my destination in record time, and I was only thirty minutes late. Not too bad. Only in my haste to write down the directions, I didn’t write down the house number. No problem, I told myself. There was going to be about thirty cars parked out in front of the house where I was going. I couldn’t miss it.
It just so happened that the house I was looking for was on a cul-de-sac, the homes were set back from the road a good bit, and there were no streetlights. There were cars parked everywhere. It was dark and I couldn’t tell which house to go to. I eeny-meeny-miney-moed it and chose a house.
I hobbled up the long driveway in my snazzy shoes, climbed the steps, and rang the bell. It was literally less than freezing, and I had no coat. I could see inside and knew immediately that I was at the wrong house. I saw no ladies through the window, and heard no laughter. Not the right house. Still, a nice man came to the door and was happy to direct me to the correct house. It was the one just next to his with the really long driveway. I was really regretting my shoe choice then.
I hobbled back down his steps and driveway, and hobbled up the next driveway. In the dark. Shivering in my snazzy heals. The whole way, I argued with Jesus about why I hadn’t just stayed home. I was late. My feet hurt. I was surely going to catch pneumonia, and it had been one of those days!
I climbed the steps to a beautiful home, and the front door stood just a little ajar. Before I got to the top step, I could hear the laughter and the voices of the beautiful women inside. I pushed open the door and walked inside. One of the first faces I saw was that of my best friend, who hugged me hard, ‘cause she knew I had been having one of those days. I wasn’t crying anymore, though. I made my way to the hostess to apologize for my tardiness, and she met me with all the grace of a woman who has had one of those days, too.
The night was wonderful. The women in that home were some of the godliest women I have met, and the spirit in that place lifted me and set me back on high ground. You see, that’s how it goes when we have one of those days. When our feet get stuck in the muck and mire of this world and we can’t see a way out, when we cry out to God, he hears our cry. He lifts us up and places us where we can stand again.