It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

There are times in life that are harder, and times that feel easy. You are likely to agree, no? I think of it, maybe because of my usual commute, somewhat like cycling; days when the wind is against you and every pedal seems uphill, and days when your legs feel like they could take you any distance, and you’re able to sit back, hands-free, wind in your hair, and sail past lines of disgruntled drivers sitting in stationary traffic. I digress. 

Learning to live well with the ‘ebb and flow of life’ is a continual process for me. It’s undoubtably easier when all your prayers are answered, and opportunities fall into your lap like nobody’s business. That part is not the struggle. The struggle comes when everything is hard, when constant, continual prayers are offered up with no hint of an answer, when the people and support you perhaps unknowingly relied on fall away.

And whose fault is it? Well, it’s probably a mixture of yourself, other people, and God. And the blame could well be accurate, but you can’t dwell there. Blame doesn’t sort anything out. You have to move from identifying the issues to actually deciding to do something about them. And that’s what it means to live with this stuff well. Learning to process the ups and downs, knowing that they’re not forever.

I feel like I’m going from an ebb to a flow right now. just about coming to the top of a hill where the gradient of the road ahead is slightly more in my favour (at least I hope so!). Taking the time to look at what is behind as well as what’s in front is important. And to be a bit spiritual for a moment, what I can’t deny is that God was working in and through my situation, nudging me, pushing me, kicking me sometimes, even though at the time it wasn’t easy to see that. Which makes this current perspective all the more helpful, as I can now look back and see what He was up to.

I am reminded of many passages from the Bible right now, all of which are applicable here. I’ll highlight just this one however:

He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. (Psalm 23)

In all of this, God is in control. And whether we are aware of it or not, He will look out for us, and lead us down a good road, in order that He might be praised for it. There is always opportunity for good in the bad, righteousness in the midst of sin, light amongst the darkness. We can be sure of that.

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