Following the exploits of 12 year old Alexander Cooper and his family on what can only be described as a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” is the movie with the name which describes the day.
Perhaps you have had one of those days where nothing seems to go right. You are swept up in a tide of misfortune and you seem unable to escape it. Without giving too much of the movie away, what is fascinating is that almost everyday for Alexander is terrible, horrible and no good. The movie opens with Alexander waking up to slip on a skateboard, knock over a glass of milk and find chewing gum stuck to his hair. It seems like this is what every day is like for Alexander.
What is fascinating is how Alexander responds when his family find themselves having a terrible day. Alexander understands. He shows incredible empathy for the plight of his family. He is not finding joy in their pain, but rather seeks to cheer them on to persevere in the face of all that is going on, knowing that tomorrow is a new day. In the face of their adversity and the actions of Alexander, the family also look at Alexander with a greater appreciation for the way in which he lives.
In Hebrews 4: 15, we have this interesting observation about Jesus, who is referred to as our ‘high priest.’ The author of Hebrews writes, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.”
What does he want us to understand about Jesus? He endured what we do. He knows what a horrible, no good day is like. He knows the temptation to celebrate the malady of others, or to wallow in self pity. Yet, he empathises with our pain, our struggle with sin, our limitations and encourages us to persevere in the face of it. He did not succumb to the day, but offers us a hope that is beyond it. He reminds us that the terrible, horrible day will not have the final say, and that there is a brighter tomorrow.
The writer of Hebrews wants us to know this so that we both grow in our appreciation for who Jesus is, and to also find comfort in the midst of our no good days.
When you find yourself having a terrible day. When you find yourself failing. When you find yourself not living the life or being the person you hope to be. There is one who understands what you are going through and who offers you both understanding and hope. A hope that sin and death will not have the final say, and that tomorrow with him is entirely different to a horrible, no good day.