Anybody heard of peripety? I had not until last Thursday, during the video portion of my Esther bible study. Actually, I am sure there was a time when I heard it in an English class…all my really smart friends already know it, so I must have heard it before and promptly disregarded it after the pop vocabulary quiz. Anyway, peripety is a literary term that indicates the moment at which there is a REVERSAL OF DESTINY. It doesn’t have to be a glaringly obvious shift at the moment…more often it is in the future that you realize the moment that changed everything. For example, there was one cold (I am sure) January morning, early in 1993 when I walked into Sociology 232…first day of class…and I saw this college boy. He caught my attention, although I am certain at the time I did not catch his. I hurried home to tell my friend Amanda about this cutie. And promptly threw myself at him for the next 3 months until he agreed (under less than truthful invite) to come to a study group and dinner at my apartment, that he thought was for 4 but actually was a table set for only TWO. The rest is history. I truly believe that in that moment, when I walked into class…that was my “peripety”. Not that I have not had many in my life, both before and after meeting Chad. But that day, I felt a nudging that in retrospect, could only have been from the Lord. It was a “sit up and pay attention” sort of nudging. God knew I was not choosing well, so he was choosing for me. I was not walking with Him the way I should have been, and in His mercy he stepped in and took over—and offered me an arranged marriage of sorts. One arranged by him. I have never regretted one second of my marriage to a man that I know God chose for me…
In this season, I have wondered many times…what was our deciding moment? Was it my decision to go on the trip in March? Was it my decision to go to the Ateneo basketball game the first night when I was really interacting with her for the first time and teaching her how to make and L on her forehead to call the boys behind us losers? Was it on the computer in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep when I poured out HER to Chad through instant messaging? Was it when I got home, and felt a little crazy and desperate, unsure of why I was missing her so badly? I myself was confused by so many of my feelings after coming home. But God knew. He knew that the reason I was feeling so separated from her was because she was to be my daughter, maybe already was in his eyes. And who leaves their daughter on the other side of the ocean? Anyway, I hope in the future to more clearly express our moment of “peripety” the moment that was a reversal of destiny, for ALL 6 of us. It kind of goes along with Chad’s Two Risky Prayers. Maybe his prayer was our moment, because he completely gave up all control in his prayer before I left. I love how God works, I love the mystery we feel and the lack of mystery for Him. He is all knowing. He is not and will not be surprised by even one tiny occurence during this whole journey. What a relief.
This is my favorite biblical peripety…and when you read this, remember that one is Old Testament and one is New Testament. God knew both sides of THIS story before the foundations of the earth. He knows every part of your story and mine….
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:2-5
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Revelation 19:11-16
Jesus’ reversal of destiny was really OUR reversal of destiny!!! Amen! What was your moment of peripety???