Summary: It has been one of those days! You have had one, right? Things just can't seem to get any worse and then . . . they do! It feels like every day is a Monday. So what do you do?
In the 60's the Mamas and Papas may have most accurately captured the sentiment of the concept of getting a "Case of the Mondays".
Monday, Monday, can't trust that day
Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh, Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Oh, Monday, Monday, how could you leave and not take me?
Every other day, every other day
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes
But whenever Monday comes
You can find me crying all of the time
Ever had ones of those days? It is just a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Or maybe worse you have experienced a week of Mondays! Or some of you can stand up and testify to a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. So what do we do when our day is the worst day?
Well last week we talked about Job and what we could learn from his bad days. Today we go to the New Testament and learn from Paul.
You know Paul experienced some pretty bad days in his life. You are probably even familiar with his laundry list of Monday experiences . . . 2 Corinthians 11! Listen to the list of his bad days.
"I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches."
Oh and wait, even though he mentions it briefly he skipped the worst day.
Acts 27:13-15, 18-20, 27-29, 39-44; 28:1-6
When a gentle southerly breeze came up, they weighed anchor, thinking it would be smooth sailing. But they were no sooner out to sea than a gale-force wind, the infamous nor’easter, struck. They lost all control of the ship. It was a cork in the storm.
Next day, out on the high seas again and badly damaged now by the storm, we dumped the cargo overboard. The third day the sailors lightened the ship further by throwing off all the tackle and provisions. It had been many days since we had seen either sun or stars. Wind and waves were battering us unmercifully, and we lost all hope of rescue.
On the fourteenth night, adrift somewhere on the Adriatic Sea, at about midnight the sailors sensed that we were approaching land. Sounding, they measured a depth of 120 feet, and shortly after that ninety feet. Afraid that we were about to run aground, they threw out four anchors and prayed for daylight.
At daybreak, no one recognized the land—but then they did notice a bay with a nice beach. They decided to try to run the ship up on the beach. They cut the anchors, loosed the tiller, raised the sail, and ran before the wind toward the beach. But we didn’t make it. Still far from shore, we hit a reef and the ship began to break up. The soldiers decided to kill the prisoners so none could escape by swimming, but the centurion, determined to save Paul, stopped them. He gave orders for anyone who could swim to dive in and go for it, and for the rest to grab a plank. Everyone made it to shore safely.
Once everyone was accounted for and we realized we had all made it, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. The natives went out of their way to be friendly to us. The day was rainy and cold and we were already soaked to the bone, but they built a huge bonfire and gathered us around it. Paul pitched in and helped. He had gathered up a bundle of sticks, but when he put it on the fire, a venomous snake, driven out by the heat, struck his hand and held on. Seeing the snake hanging from Paul’s hand like that, the natives jumped to the conclusion that he was a murderer getting his just deserts. Paul shook the snake off into the fire, none the worse for wear. They kept expecting him to drop dead, but when it was obvious he wasn’t going to, they jumped to the conclusion that he was a god!