I don’t recall where I first read the phrase, “When Life Tumbles In,” but I adopted it as my own and have used it for many years. Another phrase I’ve adopted is “I have you in my bundle.” That phrase came from the late N. Gordon Cosby, my spiritual mentor of many years. “When Life Tumbles In” can be used in a variety of ways. One might say, “When Cancer Tumbles In,” or “When Sorrow Tumbles In,” or “When Disappointment Tumbles In,” etc. “I have you in my bundle” means that I love you, I hold you, I care for you, I pray for you, now, in the midst of this phase of life tumbling in on you.
Life tumbles in on us all the time. If we are alive we are bound to experience the tumbles. We have all experienced times of disappointment, sorrow, despair, hopelessness. We have all experienced degrees of depression, hurt, betrayal, fear, sadness, serious illness, and anger. All of these are what I mean by life tumbling in on us—and it tumbles in on us all the time! So why use the word “When” if life tumbles in on us all the time? I suppose I use it to refer to the right now, in this present moment, in this circumstance (I have you in my bundle) as life is tumbling in (even though it is always tumbling in).
There is no real life without the tumblings. This is not a Pollyanna world, and no one, as the song puts it, “ever promised us a rose garden!” There are thorns even among the roses! “Life is like a box of chocolates,” Forrest Gump’s mother said and there is truth in the saying. In every box of chocolates there is a wide variety—some we like and some we don’t! The Apostle Paul said, “I have been very thoroughly initiated into the human lot with all its ups and downs…(Phil. 4:11). Can’t we all say the same?
Life is tumbling in on someone you know or someone I know today—it might be you or it might be me! Or perhaps it is a friend, a neighbor, or even someone you don’t really know. Life is tumbling in today in Aleppo. Life is always tumbling in. How can I carry, how can we bear such a huge bundle? After Paul tells of his experiences of life tumbling in (his ups and downs) he writes, “But it was kind of you to share the burden of my troubles.” Apparently “I have you in my bundle” can make the tumbling easier to bear.