Everyone has their down days. Even the most upbeat, self-disciplined, inspiring self-help guru has days when he wants to stay in bed, eat junk food, and binge Netflix. But who does the self-help guru complain to when he has a down day? Who do we go to when we want to quit, our joints ache, we’ve lost our appetite, and we feel like nobody can help us?
Many times in Scripture, the prophets and psalmists expressed a similar sentiment. They described that they felt like wilting like grass. They lamented that their tears fell into their food. They complained to God that everyone was against them. They often wondered out loud about what more could go wrong for them.
Whether we are a prophet, psalmist, or ordinary saint, we can’t take our complaints to other people. What can they do to help us, except offer advice on how not to give up, stay in the fight, and surround ourselves with a better group of friends? Instead, we must take everything to God.
We are children of our heavenly Father. Even as children of God, we have down days. That’s just a fact of being sinful and living in an evil world. As a child of the Lord, we can pray to our Father, and he promises to listen and rescue us from our troubles.
For example, the psalmist prays:
Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you!
Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress!
Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call! (Ps 102:1-2)
We have all had down days. We complain, just like the psalmist. Our bones ache, just like his bones did. Nobody seemed to care about his well-being, just like we feel some days. All God’s saints go through the same trials. We all struggle not to succumb to the same troubles. For the children of the Lord, trials and troubles are the crosses we’re called to carry as we live in this world. That’s why we often pray for God to remove our crosses. It’s also why we can feel as though God has abandoned us.
Only our heavenly Father can help us out of our trials and troubles.
When our struggles become more than we can bear, it’s easy to slip into the mindset that God has turned his back on us. At those times, we often do call in sick, rip open a bag of chips, and binge Netflix. We want to complain, but who will listen? We want to scream in peoples’ faces about our problems, but would they even care? We want someone to pick us up when we’re having a down day. That’s when we must stop complaining and screaming and hoping someone can help us. They can’t. Only our heavenly Father can help us out of our trials and troubles.
We cry out to the Lord for help. He redeemed us with the blood of Jesus. All our sin was forgiven through his death on the cross - proof that his promise to love us has never changed. In him is our sure help. That’s why we take our complaints to him. He listens to our prayers. He loves us and doesn’t want us to wallow in our down days. That’s why we hold fast to him, to his promise, and to his cross.
As God said to Hosea, “Take words with you and return to the Lord; say to Him, “Take away all iniquity and receive us graciously...” (Hos 14:2)
On our down days, let us take our troubles to our heavenly Father and cry to him. He will listen to our complaints and give us the strength to endure. He will do all this for us for the sake of Jesus, our Savior. For his sake, the Lord will never fail to give us the help we need.