This has been a week straight out of Ecclesiastes 3:
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…
And my email inbox has proven it. I have received so many messages this week swinging with the pendulum of the highs and lows of “to everything.”
Photos of a new baby… requests for prayers for a family who is unexpectedly burying their ten-year old daughter.
A father’s brag book of his primary-aged children… images of a tornado-stricken elementary school that claimed too many little lives.
A friend who purchased a new home… families who have lost theirs.
Reports of a teenage daughter who is flourishing in her faith… continued prayers for sons and daughters who are struggling to stand strong in a society that is set to destroy their truth and morality.
And the list goes on as my heart swings back and forth with the rising and falling of the pendulum. With the birthing and the dying, the praises and the pain, the good news and the troubles, and all the myriad of arcs in between.
So what am I to do with all this swinging?
Pray continually, even when I’m weary of lifting the same petitions over and over.
Pray with thanksgiving, knowing that God hears every cry of the heart.
Pray with a faith that believes in the power of a Living God even though I feel so very powerless.
Pray and trust in the One who remains constant and steadfast in His care through every wild swing of the pendulum of this life.
Even. When. It. Hurts.
As my heart bobs and weaves with the sways of these “everythings,” I find myself bowing again before the One who sustains me. Thanking Him for His presence. Pleading for His mercies to extend to people whom I’ve never met, but with whom I grieve. Asking for His joy to remain full with those who are experiencing a time of blessing. Hoping that the blessings remain for an extended period of time, even as I pray the suffering of others hastens to an end.
For today, I am choosing to follow the lead of Romans 12:15:
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”
I will celebrate with the new daddy, and I will cry with the grieving parents.
I will cheer you on in your accomplishments, and I will wrap my arms around you when you fail, holding you close until you are ready to make that next attempt.
I will be your friend for this moment – whatever that moment may be.
Because your life is destined to morph and transform from one set of circumstances to the next.
Challenges, celebrations, trials, and triumphs.
Life is filled with seasons.
And God is Keeper of them all.
The highs and lows of life swing back and forth
The joys and the sufferings rotate in and out, some staying longer than we would wish.
But none staying beyond the reach of an all-knowing and faithful God who has promised to provide His presence through it all.
Regardless of where the pendulum of life seems to have you swinging at this moment, may you feel His hand of love resting upon you.
Hastening the season of blessing…
Upholding you until that season comes.