What to do on the Worst Day of Your Life

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

 We never welcome it with open arms.  No one wants tragedy, heartache, or sorrow.  But the fact of the matter is that it comes to all of us.  And what will you do when it (the worst day of your life) shows up?  I recently read What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life by Brian Zahnd.  Brian uses the story of David's calamity at Ziklag to pull out life lessons on what to do when life gets bad.  There are so many great tidbits of advice throughout the book, but the one chapter that gave me the most hope was entitled "Recover All".  When faced with great loss we sometimes wonder if we are going to make it through.  If we are ever going to recover. Here are a few quotes from the book that gave me some hope as I sit in the midst of heartache...

Don't let your personal tragedy or failure define your identity.  Failure and loss are events, but they don't have to become an identity.

You may have been hurt, but you are not irrevocably broken.  You may have been victimized, but you are not a perpetual victim.  You may have suffered, but you are not a loser.  You may have failed, but you are not a failure.  Who are you? You are an overcomer in Christ. Overcomers recover.

What appears to be a curse becomes a blessing; what appears to be death become eternal life; what appears to be shame becomes glory; what appears to be defeat becomes victory; what appears to be loss becomes the restoration of all things.

Towards the end of the book, Brian Zahnd talks of how we can come out of our tragedy by becoming people of compassion.  One of the prevailing themes that have shown up in my Bible studies and reading this year is that we need to love God (worship) and love people (justice).  That is the crux of the Christian life.  Brian speaks of this concept with the following words...

Jean-Paul Sartre famously quipped, "Hell is other people."  No, hell is not being able to love other people.  If you don't learn to love other people, you will create hell before you go to hell.

Idolatry always leads to injustice; wrong worship always produces a wrong treatment of others. Likewise, it is impossible to worship acceptably if we don't treat our fellow human beings in a right manner. In the end, it comes down to worship and justice.

The heartache we experience should produce in us the ability to focus on others and love on them.  I am learning that God allows brokenness in our lives in the hopes that we will learn how to be compassionate to others in their own heartache.

If you are going through a rough time or you seem to be drowning in sorrow, this book is well worth the read!  It has given me hope and ideas on how to navigate the storms of life.

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