In the Vicissitudes
March 08, 2023
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
One of my hubby's and my favorite vocabulary words is ‘vicissitudes.’ You can find it on many of our love notes and cards to each other. It means ups and downs, particularly as it pertains to life.
I think the ancients got it right when they came up with the ‘Wheel of Fate,’ a wheel which sometimes has you at the top, and sometimes at the bottom. Like the proverbial king’s ring reading ‘this too shall pass,’ the Wheel of Fate is meant to remind us that if things are good now, bad times may be on the horizon. Similarly, if things are hard now, good times are around the bend.
Lokai has made rubber bracelets with a similar purpose. On one side a white bead contains water from Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth. On the other side, there is a black bead containing mud from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. The message is to stay humble when you’re on top and stay hopeful when you hit a low. I love the symbolism of that in a physical reminder because we humans are very prone to be forgetful. Even David had to remind his own soul to remember: Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— Psalm 103:2
And so, as the Wheel of Fate continues to spin, isn’t it so amazing to be assured that God is faithful through all of it? The sun, moon and stars turn, but there is no shadow of turning in God! He doesn’t change like the weather or our moods or current affairs. He is the same yesterday, today and always!
This is the message of one of my favorite hymns, “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” UMH140. It’s a great hymn of gratitude to keep us humble and hopeful in the highs and lows, in the successes and failures. The last verse inspired this illustration. This verse sums up so succinctly all those ‘benefits’ we should remind ourselves of every day. With such a strong reminder of His blessings and faithfulness, how could we keep from praising the Lord?!
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide.
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine with 10, 000 beside.
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Take a moment to meditate on all the ways the Lord has been faithful to you. Praise him for the hope of new mercies every morning, His abundant provision and His personal presence with you throughout all the vicissitudes of life.
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