July 30, 2020
When Highs and Lows Are Exhausting
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107:29)
Friend to Friend
Some called it a teeter-totter, but I always called it a seesaw and it was one of my favorite playground amenities in elementary school. There were always risks involved when it came to mounting a teeter-totter during recess. If you rode it with someone heavier than you, you struggled to touch your feet to the ground. If you rode it with someone lighter than you, you struggled to get off the ground. If you rode it with someone who was untrustworthy, they could ditch you while you’re in the air and send you crashing to the ground. The best rides on a teeter-totter back in the day were usually with a trusted friend who was about the same size.
Up and down. Up and down. The seesaw was exhilarating. A combo of innocent whimsy and delight with a dash of danger.
Sometimes faith can seem like a teeter-totter ride. Up and down. Up and down.
Courage, praise and God-confidence rises and falls with seasons that change and range from joyous to disastrous, righteous to rebellious, plentiful to pitiful.
Psalm 107 is a vibrant account of highs and lows. Here are a few up and down excerpts.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
3 those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
5 They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
9 for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
and despised the plans of the Most High.
Some became fools through their rebellious ways
and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
18 They loathed all food
and drew near the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them;
he rescued them from the grave.
Some went out on the sea in ships;
they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the Lord,
his wonderful deeds in the deep.
For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
(Psalm 107: 1-11, 17-20, 23-30)
LOWS: Some wandered (4), some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom (10) because they rebelled and despised the counsel of the Most High (10-11), some were foolish and sick, some were tossed around by scary storms (23-30).
HIGHS: God gathered the wanderers, the hungry and the thirsty (3,9). He saved, healed and rescued (19-20). He hushed waves and stilled storms to a whisper (29). He guided His people (30).
No matter the peril, the shift from low to high came when they cried out to God. And the same is true for us. Jesus is our trusted friend who lifts us up with unfailing love and sets us down in safety when the storms of life toss us around and cause our courage to melt away.
When we raise our gazes from the lows to the Most High, our hearts rise in the power, comfort, praise and perspective we need for the moment.
Lord Jesus, What a comfort it is to know that no matter what I face today You are with me. Help me not to be swayed by the ups and downs of life, but, instead, to hold tight to Your hand as you guide me through each shift. Thank You for gathering me when I wander, for satisfying my soul in times of deep hunger and thirst. You are above all and before all. In You I have life and hope, and in Your strength, I yield the moments, worries and matters of my heart and day.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Psalm 107. Write a prayer of response in your journal or on the wall of my blog.
Go deeper by taking this FREE 5-Day Psalm Challenge! This downloadable freebie will guide you on a compelling personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word.
Studying the Bible is important to help you know and trust God more. It equips you with His power, presence, perspective and peace. It informs your emotions, increases courage, decreases doubt, and bolsters believing.
PS. Have you listened to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast yet? Hang out with Gwen and friends for fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations as you commute to work, go on walks, exercise, fold laundry, run errands or travel.