One theme that never seems to fade in my understanding is the idea of how life is filled with paradox. Most days, the concept fades into the background, while other days I seem to be made acutely aware of the dichotomy of our existence.
Today is one of those days.
One of those days where I find myself on a suspension bridge between dualities. Below me is deep valley of faith, and I stand on a rickety bridge wondering which way is right and true, or more accurately, which way is more right and true than the other.
I see pain.
I see healing and restoration.
I see poverty.
I see prosperity.
I see failure.
I see success.
I see death.
I see life.
This is our existence.
What often seems to poke at my brain though is that they all co-exist, instead of as separate entities or characteristics. Somehow pain and joy cannot be separated… poverty and prosperity… failure and success… death and life. This is our reality. A spectrum of apparent opposites, which are still married in some mind boggling way.
My struggle is not then in realising how paradoxical life can be. My struggle exists in the joining of the two, in the manifestation of having both extremes exist within my one heart. My struggle is to grapple with issues in my own heart. Simple issues. Things like: How to experience my own joy fully, while sharing and bearing the burdens with those who are hurting. How to enjoy the prosperity and blessings in my life, while knowing some have nothing. How to live fully, and yet die to self fully. The struggle is in the simple and yet the complex.
I pondered for a moment on what I just typed. Something scriptural popped to mind. I “googled” it. And as if a lightning bolt zapped my brain, it’s as if God said, “Toni, see My heart”
(New King James Version (NKJV))
"10 Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed."
My heart just sunk and sped up all at the same time. The greatest paradox of all just tapped me on the shoulder.
See the truth is, our sin deserves death, but in mercy, through the death and resurrection of Christ, we are given redemption and life. In reality, God’s standard is righteousness. We who fall short are then technically condemned to a harsh judgment… but because of Christ’s sacrifice, we have been reconciled to Him, and thus, we can know peace.
He is the living paradox. He is both man and God. The ultimate paradox, yet still the kick being that, He is also the answer to the question of the middle ground. In fact, He is the middle ground. He is the bridge between poverty and prosperity, pain and healing, death and life.
And then… my next conclusion: This uncomfortable place I sometimes find myself in is oddly, just exactly where I need to be.