Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved the thrill of roller coasters. There was just something about the “click…click…click” of the climb up the first major hill, and then the moment when everything felt suspended in time before your stomach dropped out on the descent. I loved the thrill of the ride, and the wind in my hair as I trusted the cart to hold me in.
As I’ve gotten older, and my joints, ligaments, and tendons have become a little less flexible than they were in my youth, I don’t fancy those big thrill rides nearly as much. Besides, life is enough of a roller coaster ride!
A few years ago, a friend came into town for a visit, and she and I sat chatting over lunch. We talked about what the Lord was doing in our lives, what dreams we had for the future, and the uncertainty of not knowing exactly where God was leading.
Our journey with the Lord is like a roller coaster ride
We talked about how sometimes our journey with the Lord is like a roller coaster ride. We can get on it kicking and screaming, or we can get on, lift our hands while we hear the familiar “click, click, click” and enjoy the ride knowing God is in control.
Over the years, especially during times when God has been leading me into new territory, and especially out of my comfort zone, she only needed to say “click, click, click” for me to smile in quiet surrender to the amazing journey He takes us on. It doesn’t always look like we think. Sometimes He doesn’t give us a glimpse of what is ahead. Other times we feel the rise and fall as the unknown comes into view.
After doctors gave me a cancer diagnosis, this same friend commented, “It’s another roller coaster ride! Buckle up. Click…click…click!” I half-jokingly replied, “There are some rides you’d prefer not to ride!”
The Bible tells us to expect trouble
I couldn’t get our exchange out of my head the rest of the day. It’s true: there are some experiences we would rather not have to go through. No one likes walking in the dark valley. No one likes having to go through trials. But the Bible tells us to expect them.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
The roller coaster of cancer
As I thought about the “roller coaster of cancer,” I thought about how it was not a ride I wanted to take. But while we often don’t get to choose our circumstances, we do choose how we respond to them. If I have to be on this ride, how can I make the most of it? How do I “have peace,” when the reports from doctors could so easily instill fear?
Peace is a person. His name is Jesus. If I keep my eyes focused on Him, I can remain in peace.
Imagine Jesus on a roller coaster
All of a sudden, I had to chuckle. If I’m stuck on this roller coaster, then I want Jesus in the seat right next to me, so we can take this ride together. I can hardly think of anything more ridiculous than an image of Jesus riding a roller coaster, with His arms held high in the air. Shoot, He wouldn’t even need the safety harness! He’d probably even shout for joy as His hair blew in the wind.
While I laughed at the mental image of Jesus on a roller coaster ride with me, I realized perhaps it wasn’t so far fetched after all. He promises to be with me always. He promises to never leave me. He promises that he already overcame life’s obstacles that cause us to worry and fret.
Jesus is with us on all the crazy rides
I’ve told many people recently that cancer is a little “c,” but Christ is a Big “C.” Cancer has to bow at the name of Jesus Christ. The same One who offers us peace. And the same One riding next to me…on this crazy roller coaster ride. Somehow, knowing that, lets me sit back and peacefully appreciate the ride. Just like Moses said that if God didn’t go with him, he didn’t want to go–I feel the same way. The good news is, He is with me, and with you.
Click…click…click. Enjoy the ride.
What ways can you appreciate the ride your on today?
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
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