Life as a Yo-Yo

Lord, I am a yo-yo
And you hold the string.
When I am low 
You pull me up again,
Sometimes it seems 
You don’t pull hard
‘Cause I don’t go up very far.
Then, I hang
Suspended in time
While the string
Slowly unwinds.
One day I’ll make it 
To the top,
Keep pulling LORD,
Please don’t’ stop!
Problems get in my way,
The string gets a little knot,
But with you in control, LORD,
The knot comes untied.
Keep on pulling LORD,
Help me to climb
This long and hard string of life.
For when I’ve made it 
To the top
I know I’ve made it to YOU!

~Donna Golden

Up and down, dangling and spinning, rewinding and trying again only to drop like an anchor to the end of the string again. A life lesson in a yo-yo.

Yesterday I had zero energy and could barely walk, I had to ride my scooter just to get to the bathroom or to the kitchen for a drink. For no discernible reason, I walked better and had more energy today. Monday I tried to dust the house but was only able to get the TV done before petering out. Today I cleaned the kitchen AND was able to dust the living room and part of the computer room before fatiguing.

The same is true of life in general. Just when you have finished your hard earned degree the market crashes and jobs are scarce. Right after you finished remodeling and making your house just right, your spouse gets transferred and you have to sell up and move to a different state. The child you’ve long prayed for is finally born but she has a difficult medical condition.

The apostle Paul’s life was a yo-yo. At times he was amid crowds who responded positively to the Good News of Christ and was surrounded by those who loved him and supported him in the congregations he helped establish. But we also know he barely escaped an assassination plot and was held for years in prison before eventually being killed for his faith in Jesus as the Son of God. He told the church at Philippi that he knew what it was to be in need or to have plenty and had “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Ph 4:12). Taking it a step further, he told the saints in Rome that he rejoiced in his sufferings (Ro 5:3).

How? Paul explained himself further in Romans 5:3-5 when he said, “…suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” Paul knew his suffering produced something, it wasn’t for naught. Every time he suffered through difficult circumstances and learned how to persevere, his personal character grew. When we successfully endure through struggles it encourages us, and not only ourselves but others, too, and this produces hope.

Like the string of a yo-yo, our lives rise and fall between the constant interchange of perseverance through suffering and the encouragement and growth that inevitably follow. There are two brands of yo-yos in this life – Hope and Despair. You can actually chose the one to which you want to attach your string of life. You can ride through life’s ups and downs with apathy and dishonor leading to a life of despair, or you can attach your string, like Paul did, to Hope. As Paul said, “hope does not disappoint us, BECAUSE God has poured out His love into our hearts!”

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