I don't know about you, but I go through highs and lows oftener than I'd like. Sometimes I'm so pumped about what I'm doing, what I see God doing, what's going on in my life, that I'm on Cloud Nine. I'm invincible. Nothing can get me down. Stubbed my toe against the coffee table? I'll be whistling once I'm done trying not to scream. Slipped and fell on the antarctic sidewalk outside? I'll get up and brush myself off and be on my way in no time. Gained two pounds because of that birthday party? I'll just eat better and it'll quickly come off.
But then come the lows. Which, unfortunately, in our sinful world, are to be expected. Highs and lows are a part of our life here on earth. Hills and valleys. But unlike the gentle hills and shallow valleys of a little kid's picture*:
To me they feel a lot more like this:
Lows stink. They're what makes it hard to get things done, to get out of bed. They make it hard to remember that, though it stinks compared to everything else in your life, in reality you're pretty lucky when it comes down to comparing your "cruddy" life to someone else's. (Like people in third-world countries. At least we've got access to the internet and ridiculously cute cat videos.) But when you're falling off into that deep, deep, dark, horrendous, foul, bug-infested, creepy-crawly, heart-stabbing low, it's kind of hard to keep everything in perspective. It's hard to remember that God loves us, that He's promised never "to leave" or "forsake" us (Hebrews 13:5, NKJV). It's hard to remember that "all things work together for good to those who love God" (Romans 8:28, NKJV). It's hard to remember that, if He takes care of birds and weeds, He'll take care of us too (Matthew 6:25-30).
Joshua was a guy who could've ended up in a major low. And if you know his story, you know he had it much worse than we normally do. I mean, how many of us have to take over for the national hero, only to lead into a land full of giants and fortified cities the kids of the same people who whined and chickened out of marching into this place forty years ago? But instead of getting into a slump, instead of letting himself tumble over the cliff into a mud pool of misery, he believed God. God told him to "Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9, NKJV).
That same promise still holds true for us today. God lets us go through lows, but He won't leave us there. He pulls us out of that tar pit of self-pity. He brings us through all those annoying things, all those painful things we're going through. He promises it'll be okay, even though it doesn't feel like it is right now, even though it doesn't feel like it can ever be okay again. We just need to take Him up on that.
Father, thank You for bringing me through everything, whether good or bad. Help me to trust You to keep bringing me through. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
*Okay, confession, I drew these. When it comes to drawing skills, I'm slightly below an average 4 1/2 year-old.