Life holds a succession of pivotal moments. They distinguish themselves with phrases like, “from now on,” “if I had it to do all over again, “never again,” or “I’ve made my decision.”
But there are sacred tipping points too. I love to hear salvation stories, those unique testimonies of how Jesus found and chose, how grace won and hearts were made new. I love to hear how Jesus answered prayer, provided, and led.
If we begin to look, we see Scripture is filled with stories of individuals suddenly aware, finally moved by a crucial event which God brought about.
For Simon Peter, it came with a miraculous catch of fish so great it nearly sank two boats.
“And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Luke 5:7-8 ESV
A ruler named Jairus, in the synagogue of Capernaum encountered his tipping point when his twelve-year-old daughter died.
“But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” Luke 8:50 ESV
Alongside the cross where Jesus bled, a robber hung. His tipping point came at the very end of his life, with no road left to wander, and no choices left to make.
“And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And he [Jesus] said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.’” Luke 23:42-43 ESV
Shortly before Jesus died, it was as if all of creation, all of time came to a tipping point of sorts. Like everything, everyone, every happening moved toward a climax. For the Jewish leaders, the cauldron of jealousy and hatred boiled over. Unconfined, no longer contained nor hidden, they wanted Him dead.
Perhaps it was when Jesus prophesied the temple’s destruction, promising to raise it in three days. Maybe because Lazarus, once dead, now walked around town talking about the Man who resurrected him. Or, possibly the tipping point came at a meal when Mary washed Jesus’ feet with a bottle of expensive perfume.
But the tipping point came, and “From that day on, they made plans to put Him to death.” John 11:53 ESV
What started just a stone of hostility, became a boulder of hate. Enough for even the most religious to kill.
“Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples.” John 11:54 ESV
Meanwhile, Jerusalem packed itself with Pre-Passover chaos. Many arrived to purify themselves before the festival. People looked for Jesus, either convinced He was the Messiah, or wanting a show. They predicted the likelihood of His appearing.
“So, what do you think?” they asked one another.
“Is He coming to the feast or not?”
“If anyone knows where He is,” the chief priests and Pharisees ordered, “you must tell us.”
All of it mounted to a crescendo, like the beat of a drum with evil plotting on one side, divine purpose on another. Hatred and love drew swords. The entire universe barreled toward a collision of evil and of holy, foreordained by the Sovereign Hand of an Almighty Righteous God.
The cross was the ultimate tipping point. What appeared as defeat was in fact a sacred victory. At the cross lives pivot. We bow or we walk away. What brings us to the foot of the cross are those divine tipping points orchestrated by a loving Father. The cross was the ultimate tipping point. Click To Tweet
Mundane little “that’s it, that does it,” moments fade away in the big scheme of life. Yet, somehow they move us in a decided direction. Those little insignificant, even forgettable, tipping points often carry a much greater effect than we could ever have imagined.
The watershed moment came for a centurion and guards, at the foot of Jesus’ cross when the earth trembled beneath their feet. Suddenly, they came face to face with Who He was.
“When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’” Matthew 27:54 ESV
Tipping points are worth more than a backward glance. They bring us to recognize a Sovereign hand in the details of our days. They draw a much bigger picture, always summoning us nearer to the heart of God. And in its tiny glimpse we find awe.
Sylvia, your post generated memories of tipping points in my life. When I read Scripture, I’ll see certain events in a new light now—the way changes occurred after tipping points. I want God to transform my life when He brings these points to me. Thank you.
Thank you so much for your comment, Jeannie. I too look back and realize how much God is involved in my life. It is humbling and amazing that He should care so much as to orchestrate events which draw me to His dear side.
We’ve alll had many tipping points, some more memorable than others, some that took our lives in a completely different direction. The tipping point that matters most is our decision to accept Jesus as our Savior. That life changing event grants us the promise of eternal life with Him. Thank you for this timely message to remind us of the enormity of our Savior’s love for us.
Katherine, thank you for those important thoughts. Yes, the life changing tipping point is the decision to accept Jesus as Savior. As you said, it grants us eternal life with Him. What a marvelous tipping point!
Sylvia, those tipping points in our lives can seem so insignificant that we often overlook them. When we see God’s hand in our everyday lives we can be more aware of what He is doing to change us. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, Barbara, when I look back there are so many times I didn’t recognize God’s hand in the every day. It comforts me now to see how much He has led and guided. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
For me I think it has often been those hard circumstances that push me to trust my Father … and then recognize His faithfulness in response.
Nancy E. Head
History has many tipping points. I love your picturing of them in our lives. Nations, communities, neighborhoods, and each individual heart. May Jesus bring Himself as the tipping point in more lives. Thanks and God bless!