Jesus and the Trampoline of Life
I love to watch my grandchildren jumping up and down on the trampolines in their gardens. Trampolines can be huge nowadays and the children love to go as high as they can, do somersaults, back flips, twists and turns – it’s amazing what they can do – and it sends me dizzy watching them. Also, as much as they love to go so high, and feel as though they are flying, it does make me wonder sometimes if they will end up flying over the edge of the net and my heart often misses a beat.
They, as young children, cannot see the dangers and have no fear. Oh, to be young and free without a care in the world! I love to hear their squeals of delight, so full of joy, so full of life. Bouncing up and down and having so much fun – surely that is what life is all about.
Then at times, when they are showing me acrobatic skills the somersault doesn’t end as well as it should, the back flip is misguided, or the landing is unbalanced. What do they do? Usually, they get up and try again, and perhaps again and again, until they can achieve the desired performance and hear a cheer from grandma and others who are watching with bated breath.
Life! Have you ever thought life in this world is rather like a trampoline? It is full of highs and lows, twist and turns, sometimes a little near the edge, quite exciting at times and yet also a little risky.
How we handle the lows can make a big difference. Do they leave us broken and dejected or do they lead us on to new heights? Some of us are more resilient than others, but as Christians we should always be able to bounce back, for God helps us to do just that.
St Paul writes from his own experience of being crushed and cast down, yet he was not destroyed. Though he faced difficulties he did not despair. In other words, on the trampoline of life, Paul kept bouncing back. Nothing was going to keep him down. Nothing was going to keep him from praising God and it was God who was giving him the strength to carry on ( 2 Corinthians Ch.4).
Thinking about life, Jesus on several occasions describes Himself as the ‘Life’.
He is the Good Shepherd in John Ch 10 who, unlike the thief who comes to kill and destroy the sheep, offers life and not only life, but ABUNDANT Life.
Familiar words used at a funeral service are, “Jesus said, I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die”. (John Ch 14). Jesus was talking to Martha, the sister of Lazarus who had recently died. Jesus weeps at the death of his friend, but then raises him back to life.
Jesus himself conquers death when he dies on the cross on that first Good Friday and is put into the Garden tomb. Three days later Jesus is raised to life. That is the wonderful Truth about Jesus – He rose again and lives today. Through Him we have the promise of eternal life. So, abundant life whilst here on earth and then eternal life with God in heaven. Isn’t that worth a hallelujah?!
Life is like a trampoline, full of ups and downs. It is great when all is well, and we are flying high and full of joy, but then when life brings us crashing down to earth, we find ourselves wondering whether we will ever be able to get up again.
When we are faced with the loss of a loved one, the breakdown of a relationship, financial troubles, a threat to our work, or the prospects of ill health, even death, suddenly we feel frightened, and we don’t know how we are going to manage.
Help us to know that at times like this, and especially at times like this, you are still with us, reaching out to strengthen, support and sustain us. You are there to catch us when we are falling and will lift us up and set us on our feet again.
Teach us that out of darkness, you bring light; out of tears, laughter; out of despair, hope; out of sorrow, joy; and out of death, life, because you are the Resurrection and the Life.
Whatever trials and knockbacks in this life we may face, Loving God, help us to keep bouncing back, renewed by your love and saving grace.
In the Name of Jesus we pray.
However hard or fast we fall, God can lift us up to even greater heights than before.
Whatever happens, don’t remain down, with His help bounce back up and remember through Jesus we have the victory. He is our Life.
God bless you as you bounce high in life with Jesus!