Many of us probably had or knew of someone who had a yo-yo at one time or another in our life. It is fun to watch a child when they first get a yo-yo and try to use it. They try to emulate someone they have seen playing with it. Usually the first time they try using it, it falls from their hand dropping toward the ground and recoils upward and back down until it runs out of momentum. As they watch and listen to their teacher, mentor, parent, friend or whomever they soon learn to make it continually go up and down. With a slight flip of the wrist as it gets close down to the bottom of the string it recoils back to the top only to be caught by the hand that sent it down. Each time they let it go and flip the wrist it returns to them. Soon they learn that by flipping it down and giving it a gentle snap at the bottom it gains the momentum it needs return on its own. The more they practice the better they become.
After receiving their first yo-yo they soon discovery there are different types of yo-yo; the classic, the Butterfly, and the modified and each one is unique and allows the person to learn different tricks. Tricks like walking the dog, around the world, the forward toss, the elevator, the man on the flying trapeze and rock the baby to name a few.
This is true when we serve God and His church in ministry. God is constantly calling us into ministry. He places us in positions and ministries that we sometimes may not think about or are tenuous about trying. Like learning to do something new with a yo-yo we have to learn and rely and trust in God. It is our skills and the development of our skills, gifts, and talents that God wants to use. We may not know how to incorporate them at first but God uses mentors to help us use our skills and our gifts. It is through our mentors that God encourages us through the Holy Spirit to learn so we can continue to do His work in the world. God may also use us as mentors to help someone along the way, like a person teaching someone a yo-yo trick.
When we accept God’s calling to minister we will also find times when we experience the yo-yo affect. We will experience highs and lows. There will be times of excitement and joy when we see how God has used us and how lives are touched. Like the disciples whom Jesus gave authority and sent out two by two, they returned in amazement at what happened when they went to the villages.
We will also experience the lows as we hit speed bumps and hurdles in our ministry and lives. We are not alone in these feelings. Throughout scripture we find examples of those who experienced Yo-Yo times. God revealed Himself to Moses on Mt. Sinai and gave him instructions to lead Israel out of Egypt. Each encounter with Pharaoh he had expectations that Pharaoh would release them. Nine times Pharaoh said no but when Pharaoh finally agreed Moses found himself with Israel’s people sandwiched between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army. It was then that God prevailed demonstrating His power and giving Moses the confidence to lead the people through the Red Sea.
Samuel was perplexed when Israel asked for a king and when that king failed God instructed Samuel to go the house of Jesse to anoint another. As each one of Jesse’s sons came forward, Samuel asked God if he is the one until finally David came before Samuel. As king, David also experienced ups and downs throughout his life.
The Apostle Paul also spoke of the hardships of ministry being 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 8 … afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
All of us experience yo-yo times whether it is in ministry or in our lives. We cannot let the fear of yo-yo times keep us from doing ministry and reaching out to others. Whether it is in high times being held in His hand or times we struggle, we can always count of the Lord to walk with us through them. From the mountain to the valley He is there with us and His mercies never cease. They are new every morning. Lam. 3:21-23 “21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”