We all know that we have good days and bad days. In fact, there is one routine with which we are all familiar. It starts off with a string of bad days, followed by a good day. On that good day we do as much as we can, trying to get caught up on all of the things which didn’t get done during the bad days. We do too much, push our bodies too far, and inevitably end up with more bad days.
Over the last three months, I have had more bad days than good. I was plagued with one sickness after another, but I am finally feeling better and able to reenter the world, cautiously. I need to be wise about the things I do and the places I go so that I don’t get sick again. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m barricaded in my room because my poor roommate has the stomach flu. I have to make difficult decisions and say “no” to many things. One thing I have said yes to is work, mostly because I have my own office and I can lock people out! I have consistently been back at work for a couple of weeks now and it is stressful. I work at a church part-time and this is a very busy time of year for us. I have more than my usual responsibilities and they were getting to be more than I could handle.
Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” I never fully understood these verses until I looked at them in depth, and when I did, I was surprised by what I learned. I always assumed that “the days are evil” meant just that; our world is morally corrupt and wicked. What I just learned is that “evil” can also mean “sick or diseased.” Wow, that hit me in right in the gut! Authors Fausset and Brown put it this way, “The days of life in general are so exposed to evil, as to make it necessary to make the most of the seasonable opportunity so long as it lasts. Besides, there are many special evil days (in persecution, sickness) when the Christian is laid by in silence; therefore he needs the more to improve the seasonable times afforded to him, which Paul perhaps alludes to."
The apostle Paul was familiar with persecution, and most scholars believe he also dealt with sickness. Out of obedience to God, Paul shared with us what he learned through his trials. Choose where you will go; be wise and make the best use of your good days because bad days will come and your illness will take you out of everyday life for a season (my paraphrase)! Can you relate to that? I can! Part of being wise is not doing so much on our good days that we create more bad days. We need God’s wisdom to pace ourselves and do what we can to have more good days. On our good days, when we do God’s work, we need to do that work with supernatural energy. If we attempt to do it in our own strength, we will undoubtedly fail and end up exhausted and sick.
So how do we gain wisdom and live a life that is empowered by the Holy Spirit? We ask! God loves to give good gifts to His children. We need to ask every day, even multiple times a day, for God’s help. When we do, we will have the wisdom and ability to respond to life and live it well. I want to encourage you to take time to listen. Remember that God isn’t going to empower you to do anything and everything you want to do, but He will empower you to do the things that He wants you to do. We need to be good listeners so we can say “no” to the things that distract us (even if they are good things) and say “yes” to God.
“It is possible to work far beyond the normal strength of the human constitution and yet experience little or no fatigue because the energy for the work has been provided, not by the burning up of human tissue, but by the indwelling Spirit of power. … Surely it should not be necessary to do spiritual work in the strength of our natural talents. God has provided supernatural energies for supernatural tasks.” – A. W. Tozer
(c) March 19, 2013
 Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Eph 5:16). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.