I’m thrown a little off balance today – but struggles build character, right?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

Today we feature the “Life is a Rollercoaster” syndrome. Stuff happens, we deal with it; other stuff happens and we deal with that too. Then things go wrong. Then things go right. Then something else comes up. You get the idea.

Things go smoothly lining up help for my mum, we set up good care, certain people cooperate (insert the word “mother” here); then they don’t like it and they stop cooperating, and the best laid plans get scuttled.

Over in the Persian Gulf Andrew, Alicia, and Mr. T. had a big day moving to their new Bahrain apartment. It was good to chat briefly via video and see them setting up their new home.

Meanwhile, down in Orlando, our daughter Naomi is in the hospital having emergency surgery. She went to the ER in the middle of the night and they found an issue with one of her kidneys that’s serious enough to warrant immediate intervention (I recorded a music video on her favorite guitar for her – below).

So Rebekah loaded up the Rav4 and she is headed toward Florida to spend a few days helping Craig and the children.

You go to bed one evening with the world looking one way… then you wake up the next morning and there are a new set of wrinkles to iron out.

Those wrinkles help define life!

But of course this is the definition of life. There are so many variables, always in motion, in flux, in a constant state of change.

– trees in the biosphere (photo from web)

There is a great story I learned when our family toured the Biosphere 2 research facility in Arizona. Scientists ran an experiment with a self-contained ecological system designed so people could live and have everything they needed.

One of the problems they observed, over time, was how weak the trees were. They had nutrients, water, soil, sunlight – everything they needed. But what had been missing was stress! Weather extremes cause roots and limbs and branches to strengthen, as if they were in the gym doing resistance training!

Point being that life without challenge, without the need for constant adaptation, without setbacks, is not the kind of experience that leads to the kind of fulness and wholeness and strength we were designed for.

Our opportunity, then, is to take all the faith, and love, and creativity, and imagination, and strength, and hope, and grace that God offers and to grow as people in the best way.

My power,” God reminds each one of us, “is made perfect in weakness.” – DEREK

Music for Naomi – on the guitar she got for me:


  1. This is so inspiring, and timely, Derek. Thanks for the faith you share in the midst of trying times (and good times)…it helps us all! Please keep us updated on Naomi.

    Liked by 1 person

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