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Signs and Wonders
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Ups And Downs

by Nancy Harry

Eagles Rest Ministries - Harrisburg, PA

 It had been fun balancing on the curb of the long sidewalk outside my grandparent’s home, as my brother, sister and I followed each other in a tight row. It was fun balancing on the narrow wall that went along the bank of the well groomed yards, as we walked to the nearby playground. It was the tightrope performers at the circus that held my attention as they balanced on what looked like a string from our seats below.


Watching a documentary on the training circus people go through to become the professional performers they are, I saw how the tightrope walkers started on a rope barely a foot off the ground. As they gained confidence and balance, it was moved higher and higher. A safety net hung underneath as the rope continued to move higher above the ground. These specially trained men and women held a balancing rod to help stabilize their movements as they crossed this thin rope to entertain their fans.


With all the ups and downs, I often feel like life is a walk on a curb, or narrow wall, or a balancing act across a tightrope.


Matthew 7:13-14 says, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.”


I contemplated my life with all its up and downs; all the sad times and happy times, all the frustrating times and peaceful times. Then it occurred to me how easily the choices we make, or the choices others make that affect our lives, can so easily lead to a life of destruction – filled with everything we don’t want. Those decisions made without foresight, understanding or knowledge lead us through the wide gate onto the broad road. In contrast, the life led with focus, wisdom and love leads through the small gate and along the narrow road leading to the life we all crave - satisfaction, peace, success and happiness.


My curb, my wall, or tightrope symbolizes the narrow road. Every time I lose my balance and slip off, the broad road awaits. Do you often feel you spend more time falling off your tightrope onto the broad road instead of balancing and staying on the tightrope - following the narrow road?


Have you mastered this feat as the performers at the circus have? And they do it with such confidence and ease. But, it’s true that life is much harder than a balancing act, whether it be on a curb, a wall or a tightrope.


Life isn’t always wonderful, no matter how much we would like it to be. Life isn’t always easy and that’s ok. Our experiences become our story. The hard times build our character and purify us, if we let it. They develop our understanding and compassion, so we can support and encourage others. Those times become our opportunity to become better and wiser.


But does the struggle to put yourself back up on that thin rope, only to lose your balance and fall off once again, become overwhelming and feel impossible? Then it’s time to remember Jesus. He is the safety net to catch us when we fall. He has the strength to lift us back on that tightrope, to put us back on that narrow path, when we feel too weak to get up ourselves. The Holy Spirit has the power to keep us on it; because he is our balancing rod; our stabilizer.


And so my prayer is: Thank you Lord, for your strength to put me where I need to be, and thank you Holy Spirit, for being the power to keep me where I need to be.


 JEWISH HOLIDAYS

Pessach -
Sundown March 30 -
Sundown April 7

Yom HaBikkurim -
April 1


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