Peter Horrobin

Founder & International Director of Ellel Ministries

Another One of Those Days

Psalms 121:2, NIV
“My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”

I want you to imagine this scene. It’s 8.30 in the morning, and a man has just come to put a head rest on my father’s wheelchair (He’s recovering from a severe stroke). We have managed an entire year without one, but, because of travelling considerations, the occupational therapist insists one is needed. She’s right of course, and I know it, but I wish we could have organised a more mutually, convenient time. My father awkwardly transfers to his recliner, while the man inserts a metal plate into the back of his wheelchair. Metal shavings fall all over the carpet and I am wondering whether the vacuum cleaner will blow up when I try to suck them up. 

My sister’s pug dog is being extra bouncy and has to be forcibly removed to another room. She’s excited that we have guests, and wants to be a part of all the activities. I lock her in the bedroom with me, and she barks repeatedly to be let out. In the background I can hear the drill as the man continues to work. It’s taking much longer than we expected. That will prove a problem as Mondays are packed with activity, and I’d hoped he’d be finished before the next person came. The pug’s now scratching with vigour at my bedroom door. I want to add that this is the same pug that has escaped our care twice this week, and is already in my ‘bad dog book.’ 

I discipline the pug several times, to no avail, and begin to feel quite stressed. I’m not particularly very ‘chipper’ in the mornings on the best of days, but today I’m feeling more irritated than normal. Then I hear a noise that disturbs me greatly, and I grimace.

Looking down at the pug, I see that she’s just left a nasty puddle on my carpet. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. I fetch the disinfectant, put on a disposable glove, cover the patch in paper towel and soak up the mess. I can’t believe how much water such a small dog can hold. It is barely nine in the morning and I’m ready to hop back into bed, pull the covers over my head and start the day all over again.

Before the day is out, two carers, the pharmacist, the man who mows the lawn, a saleswoman, one of my sisters and two friends will also visit. Some are expected and some aren’t.Each time there’s a knock at the door, the pug jumps to attention and starts planning her next escape. She’s an opportunist if ever I’ve met one, and somehow manages to squeeze through the legs of one of the carers. She heads down the street with me in hot pursuit. Muttering through clenched teeth, I proclaim, “this is the last time I baby sit this dog” and I mean it. With the help of three others, I finally catch her and put her in the back yard. The neighbours won’t appreciate her barking, but I’m now out of options. Eventually she quietens down, and I take a big sigh of relief. 

Your circumstances are probably very different to mine, but we can all identify with a ‘bad day’ and all the rollercoaster emotions that accompany it. Substitute the pug in my story for a crying or sick baby, or a demanding boss, or a multitude of other scenarios, but the bottom line is the same – emotionally exhausting. Life doesn’t always run smoothly, or to plan, and we can all testify to that fact. Let me ask you a question though, that I’ve had to stop and ask myself as well. Where’s God in the midst of all the bedlam and madness?

Let me assure you that He’s right there in the midst, available and ready to help if we ask Him to. Jesus has walked this earth like one of us, and well identifies with how messy and overwhelming life can be sometimes. When we cry out to Him, He not only hears our prayers, but comes rushing to our aid. He may not always still the storm immediately, but we can trust Him to faithfully stand beside us in the midst of it and bring His peace. That peace passes all understanding. Looking back with hindsight, I realise I should have prayed for help a lot sooner than I did this morning! I also wonder if I should have sedated the pug! (Said with tongue in cheek)

Prayer: Thank You, God, that You’re with me, for me and a present help when I need it. Help me to remember that next time my heart feels overwhelmed. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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