When Highs and Lows Are Exhausting

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Faith, Trials 14 Comments

Some called it a teeter-totter, but I always called it a seesaw and it was one of my favorite playground amenities in elementary school.

There were always risks involved when it came to mounting a teeter-totter during recess.

If you rode it with someone heavier than you, you struggled to touch your feet to the ground.

If you rode it with someone lighter than you, you struggled to get off the ground.

If you rode it with someone who was untrustworthy, they could ditch you while you’re in the air and send you crashing to the ground.

The best rides on a teeter-totter back in the day were usually with a trusted friend who was about the same size.

Up and down. Up and down.

The seesaw was exhilarating. A combo of innocent whimsy and delight with a dash of danger.

Sometimes faith can seem like a teeter-totter ride.

Up and down. Up and down.

Courage, praise and God-confidence rises and falls with seasons that change and range from joyous to disastrous, righteous to rebellious, plentiful to pitiful.

Psalm 107 is a vibrant account of highs and lows. Here are a few up and down excerpts.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
    from east and west, from north and south.

Some wandered in desert wastelands,
    finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
    and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
    to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
    prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
    and despised the plans of the Most High.

Some became fools through their rebellious ways
    and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
18 They loathed all food
    and drew near the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them;
    he rescued them from the grave.

Some went out on the sea in ships;
    they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the Lord,
    his wonderful deeds in the deep.

For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
    that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
    in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
    they were at their wits’ end.

28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
    the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
    and he guided them to their desired haven.
(Psalm 107: 1-11, 17-20, 23-30)

LOWS: Some wandered (4), some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom (10) because they rebelled and despised the counsel of the Most High (10-11), some were foolish and sick, some were tossed around by scary storms (23-30).

HIGHS: God gathered the wanderers, the hungry and the thirsty (3,9). He saved, healed and rescued (19-20). He hushed waves and stilled storms to a whisper (29). He guided His people (30).

No matter the peril, the shift from low to high came when they cried out to God. And the same is true for us. Jesus is our trusted friend who lifts us up with unfailing love and sets us down in safety when the storms of life toss us around and cause our courage to melt away.

When we raise our gazes from the lows to the Most High, our hearts rise in the power, comfort, praise and perspective we need for the moment.

Lord Jesus,
What a comfort it is to know that no matter what I face today You are with me. Help me not to be swayed by the ups and downs of life, but, instead, to hold tight to Your hand as you guide me through each shift. Thank You for gathering me when I wander, for satisfying my soul in times of deep hunger and thirst. You are above all and before all. In You I have life and hope, and in Your strength, I yield the moments, worries and matters of my heart and day.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.



Read Psalm 107. Write a prayer of response in your journal or on the wall of my blog.

Go deeper by taking the FREE 5-Day Psalm Challenge! This downloadable freebie will guide you on a compelling personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word.

Love and blessing to you, friend.

PS. In light of all the complications and uncertainties the world is filled with right now, I pray these new Graceologie podcast episodes will strengthen your resolve, calm your anxiousness, and remind you how incredible God is.

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Comments 14

  1. Lord Jesus. You are above all and before all. You are our strength our wisdom our comforter our support. I pray that all those who still wander will be brought into the comfort of your loving arms today. That the weary and despondent will find rest The battered and bruised will find safe haven and that the angry and hopeless will find your peace. In your name Lord Jesus. Amen

  2. Through spikes of anxiety as a single mom of 3, God has been faithful, He has been with us and we have experienced joy, grace and peace in Him. We know He is in control. He is our Father, my Provider, My Counselor, My Best Friend.

  3. Gwen thank you for being a true light letting God use you. It’s a great joy to know during Trials and Tribulations I can call out to my Father and he will be there to pick me up! He loves me just that much! 🙏🏿

  4. Thank you Gwen. A friend in the Lord sent this to me. I thank her too.

    Our family trials e great, but God is greater. My son John is going through cancer treatments for the 4th time. I was just diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. We know God has a plan… Whatever it is it will be used for his glory. Amen.

    Keep leading us in encouragement. God’s Blessings over you and your family.

    In Christ Always,

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      Thanks for sharing, Melinda. Such hard trials. Praying for you and your family now, friend. Trusting His plan and providence with you.


  5. Thank you Gwen , this is so awesome knowing and remembering that as we look to God 🙏 and trust him , he will bring us through every storm in our lives ❤️.

  6. Thank you, Lord, for the assurance of your love and help in all circumstances. You will bring me to a safe place. As long as I come to you, you are there to save me.

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  7. Thank you for reminding us that God is the God who sees us through the valleys, uplifts us, hears us, and keeps His promise to never leave or forsake us. He is with us always.

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  8. This Reflection has given so much of courage to face the challenges I have been encountering in my life.
    Thanks, Gwen

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