I am in awe of the extreme situations that life presents us on any given day and or moment. While dealing with conflicting time schedules, terminal illness in my family, the holidays, and the elation of family and friends with heart-warming and exciting news; I cry. These are tears of joy, overwhelm, trust in God, and amazement at the extreme diversity of lives and situations that happen simultaneously in this wondrous continuum called life.
I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11. To Jeremiah 29:11, we respond; But I am trusting you O Lord. I said, “You alone are my God; my times are in Your hands” Psalm 31:14.
I am grateful that there are no coincidences in God, He knows the beginning from the end, and therefore He is not surprised by any of the extremes we encounter on any given day. And can I say that I find this comforting? That my Heavenly Father has everything in hand, while I on the other hand may not know whether to laugh or cry, or maybe do both at the same time. His love for me brings me to peace, and I can experience His peace beginning to wash over me even while my body is convulsing with laughter and with tears. Colliding extremes are great in that they present us with obvious moments when we experience our need of God, and His intervention.
I love that as we “live and move and have our being in Him,” that He helps to fine-tune our life such that we become sensitive to His daily interventions, even those that might seem subtle. The bigger picture as we consider God’s intervention is well stated by Billy Graham “. . . remember that when God sets out to change a nation, He begins by changing people. It starts with individuals.” Let us remember well this thought because His interventions are never just about us, what happens in our individual lives and experiences, because our experiences impact the lives of those around us. And the colliding extremes are for me a reminder that He is still at work in the lives of those around me, of those I uphold in prayer. Our job is to walk in the wisdom He provides for this life, and He will uphold His promises. Here is a great illustration of our part and His part; Proverbs 3: 1-6:
1-2 My son, never forget the things I’ve taught you. If you want a long and satisfying life, closely follow my instructions. 3 Never tire of loyalty and kindness. Hold these virtues tightly. Write them deep within your heart. 4-5 If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. 6 In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
I love that all of this takes place on an individual level, so that our marriage relationship can become stronger as we trust the Lord together. Talk about your basic colliding extremes! There are times when you and your spouse are going to be on what seems like opposite ends of the spectrum in this experience. But Ken and I have found that these times are the perfect opportunity to join forces. If I am the one most weakened by circumstance, Ken supports me in prayer and by reminding me of God’s promises and some of the amazing things He has already accomplished in our lives; and then I can be that for Ken in his time of need. We just need to be mindful that in those colliding extremes that God is at work providing opportunity for us to become one as we trust Him together, and to love our spouse as they are in the midst of the circumstance.
Who do we trust? God, Mighty Creator (Elohim), The God who sees me (El Roi), God Almighty (El Shadday), The Eternal God (El Olam), The Lord will provide (Jehovah Jireh), LORD (Yaweh), The LORD is peace (Yahweh Shalom), The LORD my Rock (Yahweh Tsuri), God Most High, (El Elyon), The LORD is there (Yahweh Shammah, and Father (Ab, Abba, Pater); to name a few of God’s characteristics that make Him worthy of our trust.
May the Lord bless you and keep you in His everlasting love, and my you respond to Him with love and trust as He equips you to navigate colliding extremes and everything in-between.