Ups and Downs
My kids keep asking me if I'll bounce on the new trampoline with them. I
keep telling them that I can bounce without the trampoline, thank you
very much. Besides I could get hurt on that thing. Not just the average
compound fracture either. You see, women nearing mid-life don't want to
Case in point: Before approaching that mid-season of life, we can spot a
friend some distance away and give a big, friendly wave. Not so as we
approach forty. I've noticed the last few years when I give one of those
big waves, the hand part of the wave is long over before that fluttery
stuff that used to be my upper arm stops waving. No one wants to be that
I now do the forty-ish wave. For those of you who aren't there yet, here
are the instructions: Raise arm until elbow is almost even with shoulder.
While careful to keep all of upper arm stationary, wiggle fingers (and
only fingers) vigorously in a friendly fashion. Slowly and carefully
lower arm. If no part of you has slapped another, successful forty-ish
wave has been accomplished.
How exasperating that even a wave has become more complicated. How can I
get on a trampoline with that kind of instability? What if while my feet
are touching the trampoline, the rest of me is still in the air? Couldn't
I get hurt when all that stuff is coming down and the rest of me is
flying back up? I could meet myself coming and going. I'd sooner look
into atom-splitting. It might even be safer. One rogue upper arm could
put an eye out. We won't even talk about what a thigh could do.
Someone suggested I might consider using duct tape on all those "not so
stationary as they used to be" parts. I was afraid that could require an
awful lot of duct tape. I don't think I ever want to be quite that
silver. The last thing I want is to find my picture on the front page of
The National Informer under "UFO Has Neighborhood Up in the Air."
It's one more reminder that life definitely has its ups and downs. Let me
bounce this idea off of you: For every "down," God gives us an
opportunity to be someone else's "up." Second Corinthians 1:3-5 says,
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our
troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we
ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ
flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
Isn't it amazing that the Lord can use our own down times to help others
in theirs? And according to this passage, for every down we suffer, Jesus
gives a comfort that reaches so much deeper than the "down." His love and
comfort reach beyond any hurt. Psalm 34:17-20 says, "The righteous cry
out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in
spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him
from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken."
We can't come up with a bad experience that's bigger than his comfort. No
matter what we suffer, it's covered. Yes, even a trampoline triple compound
fracture! Covered! His comfort is big enough to cover it all. Not only cover
it, fill it. Not only fill it, but overflow it!
Knowing the Father of Compassion is ready with comfort in mass quantity
can add a little bounce to any day. The good kind of bounce. And knowing
the Lord is working in our lives through our valleys puts an entirely new
spin on the down times we suffer. Second Corinthians 4:17 says, "For our
light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that
far outweighs them all." Now there's the kind of uplifting message
that's guaranteed to put a bounce in your step. No duct tape required.
[ Contributed by Rhonda Rhea (firstname.lastname@example.org) -- from 'Daily Wisdom' ]
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