Monday occupies a very unique realm in the workplace. For some, it’s a source of deep dread as the grind begins. To them, Gandalf best voices their perspective prior to the big battle against Sauron’s forces in The Return of the King: “It’s the deep breath before the plunge.” The ocean is deep and dark. I see land in the distance, but man oh man, it’s a long way off. There’s another group who embraces Mondays, but after experiencing “one of those days,” they sound just like the first group. What the heck is going on? There are two polar opposite mindsets, yet both groups arrive at the same place.
Chalk it up to life or the human condition. This is why parents, teachers, ministers, coaches, and leaders have all stressed the importance of taking things one step at a time. Parents and teachers tell kids and students to work at your own pace. Do not compare yourself to others. Athletic coaches tell their players to keep their eyes on the ball. Ignore the taunting fans and opponents, focus on your role in the play. There are times when you do exactly what you’re supposed to do, but the net results are zero. It’s like catching fish with your bare hands. The tighter you squeeze, the easier the fish get away. For those who need encouragement in the midst of little to no results, remember Jesus’s words, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28, NIV).
Now, suppose you’re seeing results in your efforts and excellent ones, too. Let’s say that your struggle today has been dealing with the pain in the neck client. Your patience tank is on empty as is your ability to speak graciously…you’re getting by on fumes. Any subsequent call from said client necessitates a 3-5 second pause before answering the phone. You do your best to smile and sound so thrilled to be helping them for only 1000th time in an eight hour period. Here’s what the Lord spoke to me, and I share it to those of you who identify with yours truly: “The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet” (Nahum 1:3, NIV). Very intriguing passage, right? It’s one of those I didn’t-know-it was-in-the-bible type verses.
I love the first part of Nahum 1:3. There’s such a clear contrast between the Lord and me. Somehow that settles my soul and spirit. The second part of verse three takes a little more effort to digest. The prophet says in clear terms that God’s way is in the whirlwind and storm and clouds are the dust of his feet. He is greater and more powerful than my circumstances. He walks on the clouds, which evidences the mightiness of his presence: an amazing characterization of our Lord. I’m seeing God Almighty and myself in a clearer light. It humbles me, and it defuses any tension or stress, too. How? Why? I can’t explain it. Chalk it up to God’s ways, which I don’t fully comprehend. In fact, God said I wouldn’t understand fully his ways in Isaiah 55:8. So what will I do? I’ll praise him for his might, and for removing the tension by his grace. Like Casting Crowns, I’ll praise him in this whirlwhind and storm.