Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Up and Down

"Jesus said to him, 'Go your way, your son will live.' The man put his trust in what Jesus said and left." John 4:50

Some people are solid as a rock, rarely thrown by the opinion of others, and rarely thrown off course. Others are not so steady in their faith both in themselves and the final outcome of any given day. I really don't know any of the constant solid as a rock types. I am sure there are a few, but they don't hang with me. The people I know have days when things are going fine and their faith is sure. But when trouble comes, they think that maybe God has abandoned them, or more likely, God cares for someone else more. Somehow we get in our minds that health and wealth signal God's favor while sickness, trouble and poverty are signs of God's abandonment. We sometimes think and act as if God is a cruel parent who would walk away in trouble and reward us only when we score big and do all the right things. It's not how love works, and if God is love, and the author of love then we can't believe less than God is loving us in our ups and downs.

The man who came to Jesus was one of those who had responsibility, wealth and honor. He also had a very sick son who was on the edge of death. The man wanted Jesus to come with him but Jesus sent him on his way with the assurance that the child would live. I can't imagine what the walk home was like for that man, a father, twisted and agonizing with love for his son. I imagine he prayed and wept and wondered - most parents do. His servant met him to tell him the good news that he had already heard. But he had to walk the way home, live through the ups and downs of the journey, he had to live one step at a time - to understand God's love in his life.

So today, I want to remember that we are all on the road, all on a journey that has it's ups and downs. Even after we find Jesus and hear the promises of abundant life and restoration, it can be a challenge to live step by step and day by day. Lots of things come at us that overwhelm us. So today, I want to live with an extra measure of compassion and pateince for myself and the people around me. We all go up and down. But God, who is love, who restores all the broken, who feeds the hungry and who never abandons children - God is rock solid, right here with us all and making all things (people and situations too) new. May we all give one another an extra measure of compassion today, knowing that God's love flows through us even when we are challenged and unsteady. The journey may be long, and the road treacherous for some, but God is with us, and love surrounds us, and we will be greeted with good news and healing along the way.

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