Balance. From the time we are born we learn to balance. To roll over. To sit. To stand. To walk. Gradually the lessons in balance become more difficult. Balancing time. Balancing Family. Balancing God’s word with personal life. Balancing health choices and eating habits. Life seems to stretch out along a long and uncertain balance beam.
Mostly, I’m a positive person. I eschew negative and attempt to surround myself with positive people and flee from negative thought-poison brokers. Yet at times—balance rears its mystifying existence and I teeter on the balance beam.
God never intended death to be a part of this life. He gave Adam and Eve the gift of free choice and they chose sin. Because sin came into the world people get ill and die.
Enter Jesus who defeated sin and death at the cross. After He comes into our hearts—we have eternal life. We live again after we pass through the shadow of death. Shadows are not real.
I know people who have defeated cancer and other life-stealing and spoiling diseases with prayer and positive attitudes. The Bible says that “by Jesus’ stripes we are healed.” Over the years Jesus has healed me multiple times, yet He also allowed me to go through a knee replacement, hip replacement, and three months of hospitalization due to an infection.
It would be difficult to find a more positive Christian and prayer warrior than Joni Eareckson Tada. She was only 17 when she dove into shallow water and broke her spine. As a quadriplegic, Joni writes books and paints—with implements stuck between her teeth. She founded a Christian ministry to help those who are disabled. She is positive. She prays. But she remains a quadriplegic.
My former husband was sent home from the hospital to die. He had cancer and Chron’s Disease, was down to 90 pounds, his skin had turned yellow from liver failure, and he could only walk with me walking behind him holding him up. A Christian couple came to visit and held a cheerleading event for him. “Don’t think of death,” they told him, “think of life. You’re going to get well. You’re going to beat this thing. You just need to exercise. You just need to get up out of your chair and walk.”
The friends meant well, but I’m sure they made him feel terrible. He must have thought it was his fault he was dying because he wasn’t trying hard enough to live.
It’s in the balance.
Jesus healed a paralyzed man. He told the man to take up his bed and walk—and the man did.
But if we don’t have the power of Jesus flowing out of us—instead of telling someone to “get up and walk,” we need to grab that bed, hoist the person over our shoulders and do the walking.
No matter how positive, no matter how much faith we have, no matter how much we pray—our health will eventually fail and we will walk through the shadow of death.
When we get to that point, we don’t need a cheerleader. We need a worker who will take up our bed, hoist us over their shoulders and do the walking.
Given the uncertain art of balancing, I’m thankful that God holds the balance beam.