Jesus Had Bad Days Too

The other day I had a bad day. I woke up to pouring rain that never quit. I was stiff and achy the entire day. Then my printer wouldn’t print right. Then I got a sudden case of writer’s block. The article I was working on just wouldn’t come. Later in the day I received some bad news about a friend’s deteriorating health. Needless to say, it wasn’t a very good day.

But this particular bad day is nothing compared to other really bad days. For example, the day an entire community is leveled by a fierce tornado or raging floods or fires. The day a family receives word that their son, daughter, husband or wife has been killed in war. The day expectant parents learn their unborn child has serious “defects.”  The day a family loses a loved one to street violence. The day the doctor says the cancer has returned.

That got me to thinking about Jesus. He had bad days too. There were days he was completely misunderstood—not only by the religious leaders, but even by his apostles, his close friends. One day some people tried to push him off a cliff. On another day he got the terrible news that his friend and cousin, John the Baptist, had been beheaded. On other days he was hounded by the crowds, but often for the wrong reasons. And one day he was so exhausted, he fell asleep in a boat and didn’t even wake up when the boat was rocked by a terrible storm. Then there was a certain Thursday when he was arrested and tried unjustly. And a certain Friday when he met his horrific death. A Friday we ironically call “good.”

Why do we call it “good”? I don’t know for sure, but I surmise it’s because that was the day we realized the full extent of Jesus’ love for us. It was the day of our redemption. What looked bad, very bad (and in one way, it really was!) was (on a deeper level) really good, very good, for it merited for us salvation.

We never know about our bad days. Maybe on a deeper level they are really good. Maybe they are turning points for us. Maybe they help us appreciate all the blessings we have that go beyond material goods. Maybe they remind us how precious our loved ones are. Maybe they tell us our strength comes from God who is with us all our days.

Recently a retreatant gave me a CD by Laurie Story. The title song is called “Blessings.” It’s beautiful! Here’s what she says to God:

What if your blessings come through raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights

are what it takes to know you’re near?

What if the trials of this life

are your mercies in disguise?

Have a good day! But even if you don’t, may today be a blessing for you!


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  1. Annie on April 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I think Good Friday is a message to all of us that God can create good even out of our worst situations…that God has the final word—and God is good! We live our life’s story without knowing the middle, and the roles we think we are to play are not always the ones our “Casting Director” has given us. But we do know there is a happy ending!!

    • Melannie Svoboda SND on April 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Yes, Annie, Our hope is rooted in that “happy ending.” Thanks for your note!

  2. Laura Wingert on April 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    My blessings often come in mud. God the Potter always makes new pots from used clay as long as it is pliable and responsive. On “bad” days I am uncentered and the clay I am does not rise evenly. I look to see what is happening and pray for insight into the process. Often a day or two later I am blest to see how I am re-formed into a new, more centered pot. Praise the wisdom of of the Potter. Thanks Melanie.

    • Melannie Svoboda SND on April 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      Your first sentence is classic, Laura! (For those who don’t know Laura, she is one of our artists sisters who often works with clay–or mud!)

  3. Gia Turella on April 17, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about having bad days! I oftentimes have them where everything goes wrong, and then after handing them over to God….He has a way of turning bad into good!!

    I learned alot during Holy Week about Jesus’ Mission of submission to our salvation!!! His greatest test was His proven love for us!! I am eternally greatful for all that He continues to do for us!!

    I am a renewed by His Love and am His child!!

    • Melannie Svoboda SND on April 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Yes, Gia, I definitely agree: God does have a way of turning bad into good. Thanks for your wisdom!

  4. Betty Nagel on April 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Melannie, you certainly have a way with words. You always manage to help me see my faith and journey in a new light. (By the way, do you remember that I used to be S.M.Carolann,SND? Just checking….) Thanks for blogging. I can love how I can relate to your simple but profound writing.

    • Melannie Svoboda SND on April 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      Dear Betty,
      Thank you for your response. (Yes, of course, I know who you are! When I first met you as a postulant, you were the novice with the beautiful wide smile. Last time I ran into you, I saw that you still have that smile, too!)

  5. Kimm Elko on April 23, 2013 at 12:09 am


    You have touched me beyond words. I was at your retreat on April 16th at Notre Dame. How profound the Holy Spirit is. I was the retreatant who shared the Laura Story CD when you did the talk at St. Lucy’s in Middlefield “Finding God in Every Nook and Cranny”. Little did I know then that God was preparing me for something huge. Finding God in pain and suffering? Bereavement a “gift of the Spirt”. Yes, it’s true. My son Andrew 22 a 2008 graduate of NDCL was tragically killed in an industrial accident on May 15, 2012. This was a BAD day beyond words but it was a defining moment in my life. As the anniversary of my son’s death is upon me I can say this that healing does come thru tears and yes and I understand how the trials of this life our God’s mercy in disguise. God has purpose in all things and it is good. God Bless and thank you Sister for sharing your gifts you touched my heart!

    • Melannie Svoboda SND on April 23, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Dear Kimm, It was wonderful meeting you again. Thank you for introducing me to Laura Story. I use her song “Blessings” often when I give retreats. I will certainly keep you in special prayer as you approach the first anniversary of your son’s tragic death…May God bless you! Sr. Melannie

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