Who doesn’t love blue skies? Life would be amazing if it was ‘forever sunshine’. (or would it…?) Realistically, life is more like a musical score with unpredictable low and high notes. One day life’s music may remind you of fair sails and sunsets. The next, it might rumble with the strange threat of dark skies and situations beyond your control…a job loss, a serious health setback, isolation, economic woes, a troubled relationship…
It’s one thing to keep optimism afloat when life’s going great. But try staying ‘up’ when life nosedives into more ‘downs’ than ups or when it seems the only option left is about as reliable as grabbing the last leaky life jacket to flee a sinking ship.
It can get that way, and you may know the saying, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ Tough times often call for gumption. I always liked the sound of that. But sometimes we weary. And then I recall what someone once told me…“…the tougher life’s tests, the greater God’s purposes.” I wasn’t sure I liked the sound of that! Sounded a little too much like it involved a cost…to ‘self’…to ‘integrity’…’popularity’ to go with God through both highs and lows. I recall having had my doubts.
We’re only human after all. The disciples of Jesus ran in to serious doubts about God’s ability to be there for them through the hard times. Where’s the Lord when we need Him most? they wailed as Jesus slept soundly in the hull of their tiny boat. They were stuck in a violent storm on Lake Galilee. They felt doomed. Sure, the Lord was near and right there. But checking out their circumstances and seeing Jesus fast asleep as waves threatened to capsize their fragile vessel, it may have felt like God had opted out of the ‘helping’ business.
Then there’s that guy named Job. You know him …Job’s the one whose awful tale of woes takes up 42 chapters of the Bible! It can feel like a trial just reading through his endless problems. Oh, Job knew troubles and testings…did he ever!
But the Lord delivered him out of them all. And therein lays the secret. Taking life’s downs with the ups is all about learning to know God…and to experience His perfect love, faithfulness, and deliverance…regardless of extenuating troubles or circumstances.
The next time you’re convinced you’ve been sunk by more downs than ups, search out and take hold of God’s promises. Pray them through. ‘Own’ them. Job held on to God and got to know that God was God of all…even life’s worst storms. It can be the same for you. And guaranteed, God ALWAYS comes through.
© 2012 S. Michaels
from Notebook: Following God