The-most-difficult-day of your life.  When was that?  In all your life, there is one moment that
determines what made one particular day THE-most-difficult-day of your life, above all of the
other days. For some of us that day is easy to remember:  it's the day our loved one died. For
others, there are so many of the-most-difficult-day's of our life that it's really hard to
distinguish WHICH one was the worst.  Why is it that some people have so many of them, yet
other's can pick out one specific day out of thousands of days? Why is one person's
most-difficult-day so much better or worse than another's?

Some years back while I was going through a major crisis in my life, I decided to attend the
Wednesday night Family Fellowship at our church. This event begins with a communal style
dinner where families of the church get together for an informal meal followed by bible study.
Families are seated at large round tables in groups of 12 or more, so more than one family
can sit at each table and share dinner and conversation. That particular night, I was hoping
that being with other people would get my mind off my own problems, at least for a little while.

As we were eating, I noticed the lady sitting next to me was extremely agitated and
consistently letting out huge sighs. Turning to her, I asked her if she'd had a rough day. That
was all it took to loose her floodgates of emotion. Looking down at her plate, her mind a
million miles away, she sighed again and said, "Yes. I have had THE-most-difficult-day of my
life today."

Now, I won't go into all of the details, but you need to have some idea of my personal state of
mind at that point in order to understand this story. For weeks, I had been going through
extreme depression and anxiety caused by the fact that through circumstances beyond my
control, I was in danger of losing a child. So when this lady told me she was having
THE-most-difficult-day of her life, I expected something comparable.

She began telling me her story, which was rather long and winding, filled with sighs and an
occasional rolling of her eyes, ending with a few tears which she wiped with her napkin. To
her, it truly was THE-most-difficult-day of her life. You see, her husband was going on an
overnight trip for his business and she spent the entire day trying to get his bags packed. She
washed, starched and ironed all his shirts, and packed his suitcase to a tee. However, while
she was cooking dinner, her kids went upstairs and got into his suitcase and made a mess,
and she had to re-iron and re-pack everything!

Really. That was her story. I'm not joking. It took me a moment to realize that she was through
with her description of what made her day the worst ever, and I'm hoping to this day I didn't sit
there with my mouth wide open. At least, I don't think I did. I think I remember patting her on
the arm and telling her something stupid like, "Some days are just like that."  What I said or
how I reacted outwardly is a vague memory, but how I felt will stay with me the rest of my life.

At first, I was shocked. I just couldn't accept that this truly was the worst day for her.  I have
had so many "worst" days that even some of my best days were worse than her worst day. Of
course, this isn't to say that I'm sure there are many other people who have had many worse
days than my own. But she wasn't one of them.

Then, I became angry. I felt sure that some of the things I've had to go through in this life
would throw this woman screaming down the road into insanity. Why have I had to suffer
through so much, when THIS is the worst thing she has ever had to endure in her life? If I
wrote down all my life's trials, this poor woman couldn't even begin to conceive that I was
writing TRUE life experiences. I have lived through things I was sure she couldn't even
short of day-time drama TV.

It took awhile to get beyond my anger, but I finally realized the truth. Life metes out different
measures of good and bad to different folks. Although she may never be able to comprehend
one of my truly bad days, she may also never be able to truly comprehend one of my good
days either. She may never know real JOY, like the joys I have experienced in my life.

Do you remember ever sitting on a teeter-totter? Do they still use that term for it anymore?
The higher the seat on one side goes, the lower the seat on the other side goes, and vice
versa. Maybe some people go through life on their teeter-totter, never fully bending their
knees and never really going up very high. It never goes too low and never goes too high, but
just kind of rocks back and forth throughout their life.
They are happy, but to me, that's not
living. That's merely going along for the ride. But, maybe that's how that woman's teeter-totter
rides. Unfortunately, one little dip lower than normal and her whole world fell apart.

Now, my teeter-totter ride is much different. Maybe yours is as well. You see, you have to
really push hard to get up high enough to experience the exhilaration and excitement of being
in the sky. It takes hard work to reach that ultimate height, or to experience that real JOY.  
But, it also takes someone on the other end. You can't reach that JOY alone, for on your own,
you can never push yourself up that far. Of course, the higher you go on the way up, the
harder you may come down. But if the one on the other end is cooperating, you will tolerate
the "down-ride" in order to experience the next great UP-ride.

So maybe life is like a teeter-totter. If we let God be in control, we can experience the ultimate
joy on our UP-ride. When life lets us down, go down on your knees, praying to God to let this
time of trial be short and to give you strength for the next UP. Because as long as you
continue to ride, there WILL be another UP.

I would rather live through many of life's ups and downs, than to simply sit alone on my
teeter-totter and barely rock by. I believe if we never experience true sorrow, we can never
fully experience true joy. Yes, I'm in this for the ride, and trust me, I want to rock! I want to live,
and to experience the great Joy that God has planned for me, and I'm willing to take the ride ~
trusting that He is in complete control.
He will do the same for you. Do you trust Him?
When Life Makes You Teeter ...
© Ferna Lary Mills


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