Bear with me for a moment as I rant. In order to keep it brief (and just because I love lists) I will put this in list form:
1. During our trip to Myrtle Beach last week we somehow misplaced the power cord for the PS2 (i.e. no more watching movies in the bedroom).
2. We arrived home last night a full two hours after we intended to.
3. When we got home we discovered that the indoor kitty had somehow gotten fleas.
4. We also discovered that the intense heat we were lucky enough to miss all week had wiped out half of my plants on my balcony veggie garden.
5. It was so hot inside our apartment that a bag of potatoes sitting in our pantry rotted, filling the whole hallway with an awful stench.
6. Though we took out the trash before we left, somebody left a banana peel in the new bag, so we now have our own personal army of fruit flies attacking our kitchen and the rest of the hallway.
7. This morning as I was working on the computer, the pot rack in our kitchen finally gave out and tore out of the wall, sending pots and pans sprawling all over our kitchen and leaving some nice big gaping holes in our kitchen wall.
8. The falling pots and pans knocked over the bottle of triple-strength laundry detergent I had left the lid off of while I ran a load and sent it spewing all over the kitchen floor.
9. Retreating to my computer after wiping up the detergent as best I could, I discovered that a new patch downloaded to my game has somehow turned off an essential add-on and made my game nearly impossible to play in the capacity I'm accustomed to.
10. Getting picked up by my "boss" to go babysit, I was greeted with the rotten stench of an exceedingly stanky poopy diaper that had not been changed, and I got to marinate in the smell all the way to her work and back to her house.
If you have ever read that beloved children's book, "Alexander's Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day", then you will understand what I mean when I say I am having one. I am having a day to rival poor Alexander's, complete with pest infestation, stinky smells, and huge messes. I'm just not sure I even feel up to the overwhelming challenge of facing up to these obstacles. Perversely funny as all this is, a small part of me still feels like retreating back to the safe-haven of my bed and waiting for the day to pass, hopefully without the roof caving in or the world ending by fire.
But it's days like this when-- along with the realization of the shortness of my own temper-- I am also filled with a realization of God's faithfulness. I may not be David with a host of enemies pursuing him, I may not be Moses facing off against the Pharaoh, I may not be Joshua invading a hostile Canaan... but I still have enemies. Be they odors, pests, or slimy spills, I have a host of evil lining up to sap my strength and leave me broken and tired of fighting. But God is with me! Philippians 4:13 joyously proclaims "I can do everything through him who gives me strength".
God has not given up on me. He isn't simply watching disinterestedly from the sidelines like a critical audience. He is here, with me, facing the challenges I face, and pouring his mighty strength into me. And with my God, who gives me strength, I can overcome the onslaught of flea or fruit fly. With his loving support, I can nurse those remaining plants back to health. With his mighty help (and a hubby with tools) I can put my kitchen back together again.
Because I've realized this verse isn't just a verse for the big battles and the epic challenges in life. It's for the little things too. The little annoyances that pile up and weary the soul and make your back ache... this verse covers those too. God's strength isn't just a supplement for adrenaline when you're up against a wall: it's for the energy to make it through the rest of the race or finish cleaning the house when you're dog-tired and there's still so much to be done. God's strength is mighty and multifaceted, plentiful and varied. And he is faithful.
So whether you're facing mounds of laundry, wearied by work issues, or going up against Goliath, please know that God's strength is enough for you today and everyday. You can do everything laid out for you to do today through the strength and love of him who created you. Rest in that thought for a moment, and then press forward to reach that prize!
Or, in my case, scour the apartment with a steam cleaner and fly swatter...