Monday, March 12, 2012

It's All Uphill from Here

--

Do you ever wake up and find everything you touch falls down,
                                                                                      tips over,
                                                                                              won't work,
                                                                                                     makes a mess,
                                                                                                            gets stuck,
                                                                                                                   fights back?

It's not your imagination.

"And to the man he said,
'Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree 
      whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,
   the ground is cursed because of you. 

      All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.'"

[emphasis mine]


Some days this worldwide phenomenon feels more pronounced than others, but it is never absent--struggle appears to be a thread that winds and weaves its way in, on, under, over, and through every fiber of this old world's existenceI daresay, Murphy's Law long predates Murphy!

It wasn't always this way, and thankfully it won't always be this way, but right now, in the tales between the bookends of Eden and New Earth, here in the annals of fallen-ness, we ever live with struggle.

We hear a lot these days about people wanting "a level playing field." This may be a useful metaphor to characterize concepts like fair treatment and equal opportunity, but in a cosmic sense, there is no such thing as playing on the level. From the moment of Eden's Fall, the falling has never stopped. Adam bit, mankind fell, and the plane of life tilted to a steep incline. From that time forward, it has been easier to fall back than to advance. It is easier to do bad than good. It is easier to fail than to succeed. Simply, it is easier to go down than up. Oh, and by the way, there are no brakes--you're always going one way or the other.

Yesterday, my pastor likened life to a grand soccer game being played on a steeply tilted field due to the devil's cheating and our captain, Adam's gullibility. The devil has gleefully elected to play in the downhill direction as you would expect, but God, our Coach, looked at the uphill game ahead of us and said with divine ease and supernaturally good-natured confidence, "Bring it on--we'll win anyway!"

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire."

God has already guaranteed the victory to us who play on His team, and He has provided us with everything we need to play like all-stars in this against-all-odds, come-from-behind game! He knows the struggle is real, but He also knows that Living Water far outperforms any sports drink on the market! 

The next time you wake up to one of THOSE days, or the next time one of those red-paint-on-white-carpet moments happen, I pray you will remember these things are bound to happen when you're playing uphill! Don't worry, and don't take it personally, just take a big gulp of Living Water and press on in "His own glory and excellence," trusting His promises, and knowing that victory is absolutely certain!

If you get weary with the ever-uphill press, how does God refresh you and enable you to continue?
If you've been playing downhill and have noticed that the "easy" way may just be harder than playing uphill, there's plenty of Living Water for you!
________________________________

Joining Ann Voskamp in counting His graces for her Multitudes on Monday
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!
In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"
Counting my next 1000 Gifts, joining Ann in The Joy Dare--like a scavenger hunt for graces, gifts and glory!! Wanna come along?  I dare ya!!

The continuing JOY DARE: 
#1190-1210 (March 4th through March 10th)

4. 3 gifts hard to give thanks for
The need for self-discipline, and the fact that it is hard work to do it consistently
Fatigue that lets you know you need to get more sleep
Big projects that take more time and effort and energy than you feel you have
5. 3 gifts found
The online classroom for my new class (Essentials of Psychology) that starts tomorrow
Major satisfaction in having my first 3-credit class finished! (Only 117 credits to go!)
A little time to catch my breath between classes
6. a gift bent, a gift broken, a gift beautiful
Daffodils bowing humble heads
Silence
Trees in blossom everywhere you go these days 
7. 3 gifts in the kitchen
Craisins
Healthy, yummy, homemade muffins, warm right out of the oven
Being smothered in kisses by my irrepressible children
8. 3 gifts loud
The haunting, wild sound of the coyotes howling at the full moon
The buzz of the dryer, telling me those must-have-in-the-morning clothes are dry at 2:19 AM
Drummer Boy's drum practice
9. 3 gifts carved
The roast beef in my sandwich
The craters of the moon
Valleys I have lived in--Okanagan and Diablo
10. 3 gifts in Christ
That there are so many more than 3 gifts in Him
That someday I will be like Him
The promise of victory

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