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When was the last time your day started off with several aggravating things happening in the first few minutes of your morning and you think, “It is going to be a bad day”!  It is strange how there are those certain times when nothing seems to go right and it results in a mind-set that is negative at the very start of an otherwise beautiful morning.  Every day has unbelievable potential for great things to happen.  We just have to be strong enough to push through irritations to achieve what we need to do.

Let me be clear….the counsel of “pushing through the irritations” is effective “if” the things we are facing are just minor “thorns” that cause agitation.  That counsel is not effective when the needs faced are “life and death” situations or critical matters that have invaded our lives.   We all know of extremely sad occurrences that just seem to be beyond belief.  News stories abound with events that would seem to be ridiculously fictional if they were not verified factually.

A fierce gust of wind blew 45-year old Vittorio Luise’s car into a river near Naples, Italy in 1983. He managed to break out a window, climb out, and swim to shore where a tree blew over and killed him.

Mike Stewart, 31, of Dallas was filming a public service movie in 1983 on “The Dangers of Low-Level Bridges” when the truck he was standing on passed under a low-level bridge and killed him.

Walter Hallas, a 26-year old store clerk in Leeds, England was so afraid of dentists that in 1979 he asked a fellow worker to try to cure his toothache by punching him in the jaw. His friend punched him and this caused Hallas to fall down, hitting his head, and he died of a fractured skull.

Surprised while breaking into a house in Antwerp, Belgium, a thief fled out the back door, clambered over a nine foot wall, dropped down, and found himself in the city prison. (copied).

One of the tragic accounts recorded at the crucifixion of Christ is that two thieves also were crucified with Jesus.  Men dying having been condemned to death for their sinfulness. We are told nothing about them except their crime was that they stole from others.  I have often wondered about the one that repented.  How old was he?  How long had he been stealing?  When was the first time that he had stolen something?  What was it?  Did he have a good family?

Here is what I do know….the best thing that ever happened to that thief was the day he got caught.  Because in being captured and sentenced to die on the cross, he occupied the cross next to the Son of God.  Likely, he would not have gone to hear Jesus preach in a multitude.  He would not have been one that frequented synagogues or the temple.  But, once he was nailed to an adjoining cross, He had the time to gain a great understanding of Jesus.  He was so moved by Jesus’ mercy shown to his executioners, His concern for His mother, the host of people there to mourn for him….he knew Jesus was different.  Thus, the thief wanted to have the forgiveness Jesus was offering.  He wanted mercy and hope.  Can you hear his plea, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom”.  His day had started really bad with being hung on a cross to die, but it ended really great….arriving in Paradise to live forevermore with our LORD!   What a difference from the start to the finish of what would have appeared to be the worst day ever!  Can’t wait to meet him in Heaven to hear his testimony of “my most unusual day”!