Every one of us has had a bad day! We usually refer to some circumstantial struggle, or to a disappointment, or a difficulty in a relationship. Occasionally, someone will even refer to a “bad hair” day. That’s a bit much.

A couple of years back, the Cherokee Chorale sang a musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber called “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.” The production is based on the Bible story of the second youngest son of Jacob, named Joseph. His life was full of “bad days.” It seemed that even though he was his father’s favorite son, everything went wrong for him.

Can you imagine all your brothers plotting to kill you and planning to tell your father that a wild animal had killed you?

Or having them sell you into a life of slavery in a foreign land? Then, even when you have proven to be a trustworthy slave, the wife of your owner tries to seduce you, and then lies about you to have you thrown into prison.

His “bad days” continued when two men he helped to get out of prison by interpreting their dreams did not remember him to speak for his release. The story is covered in the Book of Genesis, Chapters 37-45.

His life has lessons for all of us about handling bad days. Here are a couple of observations:

Joseph never forgot his personal dream.

What gets most of us through the tough times is being who we are, not necessarily relying on what we do. When you ask a person who he is, and he answers with what he does, he misses the point. You are not just what you do; deep within is who you are, your character.

Joseph’s dream became his purpose.

It guided him through his life. He wanted to fulfill what he saw as his future. That kept him on track. That kind of vision can keep us on point, as well. Too many of us can be easily distracted from our dreams by the persuasiveness of another person.

You really can’t live out someone else’s dream for you; only you can make your dream come true!

Although Joseph may have had plenty of reasons to resent his brothers for what they did to him, he accepted the fact that fulfilling his dream would only happen if he trusted in God. He believed in the future of God’s promise to him.

If God gives you a dream, it’s too big for you alone; you will need His blessing and guidance. Then you will know that you have walked with God in the path He laid out for you. Your life is what God gives to you, but your satisfaction is in what you give to others. That is the secret to family, marriage and personal fulfillment.

For years, when I did a marriage ceremony, I invited couples to pray this prayer: “God, give us enough hurt to know that we need to follow you but enough success that we know we do not walk alone.”

Any day can be bad when we walk in the shadows of our own making, but every day is good when we walk in the sunlight of God’s love!

Dr. James E. Kilgore retired as the president of the International Family Foundation Inc. and is a Canton resident.

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