If you were in an intensive care unit, would you want the electrocardiogram to suddenly start producing a straight line? Of course not! As long as that line is going up and down, it means you’re alive. Let the line go straight, with no valleys and no peaks, or in other words no ebbs and flows in your blood pressure, and you would have a cessation of life and of progress.
And so it is with our spiritual life. It is the presence of valleys and peaks, the ebbs and flows, that mark the presence of life.
Being a mother of twelve children, only two of which were “womb-mates,” I have had the marvelous opportunity of getting very familiar with another monitoring device that produces a seemingly endless strip of graph paper—a labor monitor. What a challenging experience it is to lie there suspended between praying that the monitor will never show another peak, and praying that the next peak will be the highest of all!
I once had a very wise person tell me, “Colleen, walk into the pain.” In other words, when there are hard, painful events in your life—brought on by yourself or the actions of others—admit it, accept it, and acknowledge it.
I am learning to accept and appreciate all of life—the valleys, as well as the heights. The question I ask of myself and of God in both instances is, “What’s in this for me to learn?” I trust God. I know that He is benevolent and kind and I am willing to trust that there’s something in this situation—in this disappointment, this heartache, or even outright heart-break—that is for my good.
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