March 15: Up and down
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A signature. From learning to write our names in kindergarten, to making payments and filling out paperwork years later, a signature is used to show ownership. It is proof. It has value.
Even as time moves on and life changes, the value of that signature remains. Our world is constantly changing. Life has ups and down, which we all go through, but one thing that remains consistent is God’s gift of grace even when we can’t see it clearly.
Today’s Scripture names three reasons we need God in our lives. First, we need God because we are dead in our transgressions and sins (we are destined to fail). Second, without God we follow and gratify the desires and thoughts of this world (we live in sin). And lastly, we need God in our lives because without God, we are deserving of wrath due to our nature (we are incapable of escape). In other words, without some intervention – some help – life looks a bit grim. Our lives are full of reasons we need God. We face daily challenges from trying to keep positive and motivated, to facing difficulties like injury or death.
During a basketball game in my first year of college, I tore my ACL. I missed the rest of the basketball season and was unable to vault in track and field. After playing sports my whole life, I had a hard time adjusting to a sedentary lifestyle. In retrospect, however, that experience was one of the most pivotal ones in my life.
Sometimes the paths we choose don’t work out, not necessarily because they are the wrong ones, but maybe because there is something greater God wants us to know. Everyone needs a support to lean on. God gave me friends, family and a realization. After I tore my ACL, I found I had more time to nourish friendships, play music, spend time with God, as well as to merely refocus and reflect.
Throughout our lives we are destined to fall short and fail. When we sign with God and accept God’s gift of grace, we are made alive in Christ. Our frailty and challenges are no longer our destruction but rather uplifting journeys to find God within us. God has the ultimate plan for our lives and desires to persevere alongside us during both the ups and downs in our lives.
As it is written in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”