Highs and Lows

These pictures were from the same Christmas Day, 
but obviously joyful exuberance was not flowing from every soul.

September 25
The molding that takes place amidst the muddle is magnanimous.
My husband says we can't appreciate the good times unless we've experienced the bad ones.  If we didn't have Mondays, facing a long week; we wouldn't look forward to Fridays and the onset of the weekend!
"Life is a lot" I often say.  A lot of joy and a lot of sorrow.

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, 
you will receive what he  has promised.
Hebrews 10:35-36 (NIV)

Last week, a young, six year, breast cancer survivor rejoiced with her family as her fourth child was born!  Four days later, this family was in mourning as this wife and mama died due to a blood clot.
Highs and lows.  Heart breaking.

Sunday, we were so excited to visit a new "church plant" in our area. Over and over again I had chill bumps as I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and the joy of this body of believers who have worked so hard to bring this to fruition.  The campus pastor had to be on both spectrums of the emotional scale.  Over 200 people had gathered to praise the Lord and celebrate this "new beginning", it was a glorious site. Yet, all the while, this man knew the next day he and his wife would board a plane for Texas and MD Anderson in hopes of finding a possible treatment for the cancer which has metastasized in this young woman's body.  The weight, of the realization of the highs and lows in this household, has me praying without ceasing for them.  Also, the reminder that we are surrounded by a battle, which is not of flesh and blood, is quite vivid, keeps me alert.
Doing the Lord's will does not bring about ease or earthly accolades. Thus we are instructed to put on the armor of God.

 God is strong, and he wants you strong.  
So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials.  
And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.  
This is no afternoon athletic contest that we''ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours.  This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish agains the Devil and all his angels.
Ephesians 6:10-18  

The day I asked Jesus into my heart, I felt like I had a bow on my head too. (Like our son in the first picture.)  As my faith grew, it brought about lifestyle changes; mocking, ridicule, and elimination by some "friends" to their social events. I remember being shocked at first, not understanding why they wouldn't be thrilled.  The ultimate high in my life, thus far (I'm sure seeing Jesus face to face will top everything), brings about low blows from others. 

The Message takes the Hebrews 10:35-36 confidence verse we read above and words it this way:

Remember those early days after you first saw the light?  Those were the hard times!  Kicked around in public, targets of every kind of abuse-some days it was you, other days your friends.  If some friends went to prison,  you stuck by them.  If some enemies broke and seized your goods, you let them go with a smile, knowing they couldn't touch your real treasure.  Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back.  So don't throw it all away now.  You were sure of yourselves then.  It's still a sure thing!  But you need to stick it out, staying with God's plan so you'll be there for the promised completion.  It won't be long now, he's on the way; he'll show up most any minute.  But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won't be very happy.  But we're not quitters who lose out.  Oh, no!  We'll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.  Hebrews 10:35-36

One day we will be with Christ who reigns on high and we will have no memory of our earthly lows!