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Our world has a devious way of beating you down. If it’s not the "through the roof" utility bill this month, it’s the unexpected medical bill next month or a lost job or a cancer diagnosis. At least it can feel that way.

The old adage, “when it rains it pours,” generally holds true. Rarely does it seem like one crisis happens at a time. No, they all happen one right after the other. Like a perfectly timed one-two punch with a wicked uppercut to finish you off.

We all have seasons in our life when it feels like the hits just keep coming. If you’re in doubt, just turn on the radio and listen to the experts on the country music station. They’ll set you straight.

The Bible refers to seasons like this as an “evil day.” Evil days are days when the roof caves in and the bottom falls out. When the car breaks down, the money runs out, and the dog won’t look at you, you probably are experiencing an evil day.

The question is not whether you will have an evil day. We all will. And if you’re fortunate to live a while, you’ll probably live through more than one. The real question is how do you respond in the evil day?

If you’ve ever watched a movie about war, you’ve seen a good example of what most people do when the bullets start flying. They duck and run for cover.

My personal experience of war is limited to the paintball field. A very poor parallel, I know. Nonetheless, when the adrenaline starts pumping and the paint starts flying, you become acutely aware of the pain you are about to experience. You remember all the past times you’ve been shot — in the head (which hurts REALLY bad, in the nose (which tends to bleed), and in the butt (which hurts, but mostly I just wanted to say “butt”). Almost without thinking, you find yourself crouched in a little ball, making the smallest possible target. You stop moving and you hide, hoping that the enemy forces will somehow forget you are there.

They never do.

More experienced players will tell you to resist the urge to freeze and hide under fire. They remind you to keep your head up and use your eyes to see what is going on. Once you drop your eyes, you lose sight of the enemy and put yourself at a major disadvantage. They tell you to keep moving because no one ever won by just sitting behind the bunker (except for that one time the other team kept shooting each other).

I believe the same advice applies to the evil days we encounter in life. Rather than dropping our eyes, rolling into a little ball, and getting stuck, we should stand up straight, look around and see, and keep moving.

One of my favorite things to do when things go bad is to remind myself that I am a child of God, that He loves me, and that if I stay close to Him, everything is going to be just fine. Psalms 16 says, “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

So when the hits keep coming, I lift my head, put my shoulders back and smile.

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Andrew Cromwell is the executive pastor at Koinonia Church in Hanford. Email him at andrew@kchanford.com 

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