The next morning, before dawn's light, I received a call from my sister telling me that my niece was in labor and the birth of her child was eminent. I was able to make it to the hospital before delivery. Although she was a few weeks early, my great-niece is healthy and beautiful. Family members on both sides gathered in the delivery room to pass around that tiny newborn and ooh and aah over her beauty and sweetness. The sounds of celebration rolled out into the hallway, greeting all who passed by.
Two families, one at the bottom of the hill, the other at the top. One family crying; the other laughing. It seems so strange and incongruous to me. Yet the Bible says that God is in control of both situations. In fact, from Ecclesiastes 7:14, we learn that God has designed periods of weeping and of joy so that we cannot know what is ahead and must rely on Him:
Ecclesiastes 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
If life were a straight and level path, we would have no need to draw near to God and reflect on His plan or design in our lives. If I knew that every day would pass pretty much like the one before, I could navigate through life on my own. However, in the life we live, by God's design, we need a spiritual GPS to arrive safely at our final destination. God has the whole map and design drawn out. He sees the track we have already traveled and the twists and turns, the valleys and hills ahead. In every stretch of the rollercoaster of life, we need His guidance, our spiritual GPS. One family needs His comfort, assurance, and love in the valley of the shadow of death. The other needs His strength, faithfulness, and wisdom as they begin nurturing a new life. In every situation, we have this assurance:
Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.