If you’ve ever taken a step back to look at a company’s stock chart over a 10 or 20-year time period, you’ve probably seen a graph with a bunch of peaks and valleys that look a lot like a mountain range. These digital highs and lows capture moments in a company’s history – market forces, economic conditions, world events, earnings, innovation, competition, negative and positive news, etc. – all working together to drive its stock price up or down as investors react to short-term events and make judgments about how those events might impact future performance. But through it all, solid, resilient companies weather the volatility and display an upward trend line over time that points toward steady, upward growth and profitability.
So what if you graphed a life like a stock? What would that chart reveal?
If you’re like me, it contains many ups and downs over the years. Such great joys, successes, and blessings from God woven together with difficult defeat, pain, heartache and loss as a result of either my sinful choices or simply by the circumstances of life thrust upon me. Both mountaintops and valleys of the shadow of death. Cries and songs. So what happens when you and I hit a new low? What stops the downward plunge into an even deeper valley?
For me, it’s all about remembering four things:
1) God’s Sovereignty – there is a throne in heaven and our God is on it; life is not out of control; He knew our chart would look like this and His plan for our lives is a good one; He can be trusted; He’s yet to make His first mistake.
2) God’s Word – His promises are faithful and true; they bring hope, healing, and light; they are set in eternal, unchangeable, stone right before our eyes when our hearts are failing and our feelings cannot be trusted; they are life itself for they contain His very breath.
3) God’s Presence – oh how good it is to be near to God; He has adopted us into His family and we belong; He loves us with an everlasting, incomprehensible love; He will never leave us nor forsake us; His Spirit is our assurance, our Comforter, our Encourager; His Presence alone transforms our present into something beautiful.
4) God’s Purpose – He has called us to great purpose in His kingdom and for His glory; loss of a sense of purpose completely shifts the focus on to our pain or sacrifice, but embracing God’s purpose calls us back again and again to look up with line-of-sight to eternity and rejoice. God is with us in our deepest, darkest valleys and His purposes for good are continually at work even in our pain.
While we should not minimize the pain of our lows as we cling to our Rock, neither should we maximize them nor give them the power over us to hinder God’s purposes. We must remain humble in the highs, and hopeful in the lows. Remember that fidelity to His purpose is an anchor of the soul. And by the grace of God and the enabling power of His Spirit, our lives are designed to display an upward and resilient trend line over time ever pointing toward our heavenly calling.
“Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 NASB).
Spread the Word!
© 2015 Tim McKenzie
On Every Word Ministries