Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Wobbles

a devotional by Debra E. Marvin

Mourning Dove perched on a wire.Image via WikipediaWhat do birds and house painters have in common? Your first thought might be “big white splotches”.
Doesn’t sound like a nice way to start a devotional does it?

Well, what I was going for was “balance.”

Birds line up along my utility wires, socializing, and I thought little about that skill until the day I noticed a young mourning dove’s repeated struggle to get it “just right”. Wobble, wobble. I was compelled to watch, like a crowd witnessing a high wire acrobat with comments of ‘whoa, ooh, watch it, oh no’ as the performer defies gravity.

Think of it. How do some of those big birds perch there without just spinning forward or backward on that tiny wire, and find themselves hanging upside down? I’ve lost balance and found myself spinning. Barely hanging on. What about you?

Our lives get upside down in the blink of an eye, don't they?

My mention of the house painter’s balance came not from the work of stretching to paint the eaves, but from the day I moved my longest extension ladder. Sixteen feet. It’s a bit heavy. Dragging it would be very awkward. But if I find the exact middle of the ladder? Voila! I can pick it up easily. Balance.

Balance, it seems, depends upon knowing where to hang on, what to grasp hold of . . . knowing how you center your burden, or how you center "yourself".

God promises to be with us through the valleys and the mountaintop. His word tells us
how to be concerned but not worry,
how to follow our goals without being driven by success.

We need to be content with where we are in the things we can't do anything about, but unsatisfied in those things we can. Free will, remember? Looking down at the path disappearing just ahead of our feet, but remembering to raise our head and move forward, sometimes in the dark, toward what God has for us. It’s not easy.

It's a balancing act! But it can be done.

When you get the wobbles, reach for your Bible and hang on.

Philippians 4:12-13
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

Psalm 91:1-2
He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.

Would you share a verse that helped you during your last case of the wobbles?
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  1. I go to the "peace" scriptures from John when thing get precarious. Like last night, it stormed so hard and endlessly. Lightning, not in bolts, but all around...

    Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

  2. Love it, Deb!

    It's so so easy to get lopsided. The way is narrow and sometimes it seems like a stinking tightrope. And there I am again off the side in the ditch.

    But if I stay centered. Keep my eyes on Jesus. It can be done joyfully.

  3. Great word this morning, Deb! I preach balance--especially to my kids!--but sometimes in living I get a bit off-kilter, too.

    I think Proverbs 3:5-6 help "rebalance" me: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

  4. Cheryl, we are blessed by your comments and so glad you visit. I often wish people 'peace' and it's not just a leftover saying from the sixties but true peace is so precious and only has one source.

    Thanks for sharing. We had one of those everywhere lightning storms last week, too. I think it was the night that NYC thought they had tornadoes. There was no let up in between the flash and booms!

  5. Hi Lisa!
    It does feel like a tightrope, doesn't it? After your note to us this morning, our pastor's message delved into the truth of how big God is and yet how much he loves us. Sometimes, I REALLY get it, but often it's just a bit overwhelming.

    One of my bigger 'balance' struggles is the amount of time I spend writing vs the time I devote to others. I just want to write in all my spare moments. I know it has to be that way to succeed but at what price. Each day it takes some wobbles to find that balance again.

    (PS I'm so excited about the awards ceremony, you'd think I was going to be there. Of course, I'd be a wreck if I'd finaled!)

    You and Susie deserve all your recognition tonight!

  6. Hi Anne,
    another beautiful passage.

    I have been thinking of you this weekend, knowing how much you have going on in your family right now on that book on contract!

    Maybe next year we'll be meeting in St. Louis!

    Thanks for commenting. It means a lot to see your smiling face today!

  7. Hi Deb--

    I need my devotions in the a.m, or I lose my 'balance' the rest of the day. Also, not saying "yes" to everything! Trying to keep it to three things: the Lord's work in church, for others, and time left over for home/myself. (writing?) Blessings, Pat I.

  8. Hi Pat!
    thanks for checking in.

    I sure hope you're finding time for your writing! I waiting for the next chapter!

  9. Thank you! Thank you! Hubs and I are going through a rough season in our marriage and boy am I feeling wobbly. But my first and most passionate love is with the Lord, so my bible I will turn to! Thanks again!


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