Pendulums can be mesmerizing, calming and even soothing. The systematic and rhythmic motion can sometimes relax and refocus a person. The music student essentially uses a special type of pendulum called a metronome to keep them in time and rhythm to the music.

The pendulum also is a symbol of great truth in physics as well as in life. The truth of equal and opposite reaction. The idea is this: as far as the pendulum swings in one direction, it will also swing in the other.

As a young baseball player, my father would encourage me when facing a pitcher who threw hard: “The harder it comes in the harder it goes out.” It was another way of saying the law of equal and opposite reaction.

This is also true when it comes to our spiritual life in general and joy in particular. The truth means that if we want to experience great joy, sometimes we must endure great trial, and even pain. That is why James and Paul instructed us to be glad when we endure difficult days because of the joy that can result.

Hebrews tells us that Jesus chose to endure the cross and its pain for the joy that was before Him. So, next time you are in a difficult season remember the joy that lies before you if you endure. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.”