Curveballs and Yorkers
Ever felt life has left you topsy-turvy, uprooted, or cast adrift from time to time? We watch all the music makers we grew up with suddenly leaving life’s stage; we absorb the agonies of war and earthquakes on the nightly news, or we rue that the values and norms for respect that were common in our youth and ordered the society we came of age in have seemingly vanished. Other times it it’s more personal—death of family members, serious illness, a divorce in the extended family, a car accident that takes someone way too young. Life throws curve balls, or perhaps yorkers, and in a moment-- life is not at all what was hoped for our expected.
Walking through the rainforest recently we came across what was once a magnificent tree now on the forest floor and uprooted. It reminded me that we often find ourselves on the forest floor as it were as well.
When thinking about that, I was reminded that the reason we can feel so totally uprooted is because we are inadvertently looking to our surroundings, our circumstances, the people and society around us to aid us in keeping our footings.
The world around us grabs our attention, our time, our emotions, fuels our fears and desires until circumstances convince us that all that clamours for our attention is the reality. World news is tragic, the economy is precarious, a doctor’s prognosis comes with a use-by date, a spouse dies—these are our physical realities and can at times overwhelm us.
But our reality as children of a loving God is that we are living in his caring hands and not one of earth’s tragedies and trials are beyond his notice or interest. We live in the same world everyone else does-- broken and painful, often tragic and evil. But we do so cradled in the arms of the one who has defeated its power. And we are blessed to know this is not real life. We have been given a life as Paul so eloquently puts it in Ephesians: “rooted and grounded in love, (that we) may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.” We have been, and are this very day, rooted and grounded in and by the love of God. We of all people abide in the safest place on this dark planet. We are not defined by, nor are our futures determined by, the circumstances we find ourselves in. Our life’s end point is to be ultimately filled with all the fullness of God…and even now we live in his unfailing love. His victory over the world, our circumstances, and our struggles is already won. That is our reality. We need only remember to live our lives out of the reality that we are, no matter our current predicament, rooted and grounded and standing tall in his love despite the curve balls or yorkers we find ourselves unexpectedly facing in this broken world. We are rooted and grounded in the unfailing love of God.