Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)
In church, we heard about Elijah (1 Kings 18 and 19). Elijah was on top of the world because he had just proven His God was the real, true God. Shortly after, the queen orders Elijah killed. He runs for his life and actually asks the Lord to let him die. Extreme high to extreme low. So I got to thinking about ups and downs and….roller coasters. Surprisingly, I think faith can be described as a personal roller coaster through life.
You see it from a distance, the roller coaster known as “Your Life with God”. It’s the first ride you notice. However, there are lots of other rides trying to get your attention that look fun too. Maybe you choose to ride some of those first. You find they’re OK, but the roller coaster keeps pulling you back. Maybe a friend asks you to ride with them. The coaster looks daunting. Big hills, deep valleys and twists and turns. Once you get on, you’re on for the whole ride. You have a choice to willingly get on the ride….or not. You choose to ride. You get in and put on your seat belt or harness (think of it as God’s arms) to keep you safe and provide protection. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. You might dread the feeling of that first hill because you can’t see what’s on the other side. S-l-o-w-l-y climb up that first hill. A job is lost (click, click, click), a loved one dies (click, click, click), you question why you got on this ride in the first place (click, click, click). You have to get up high enough to be able to have enough push to get you through the rest. You’re not alone on the ride. You can hear the people in the front cars heading over the top of the hill and picking up speed on the other side. You fly down the hill and head into the twists and turns of life. Some happy, some down. You realize that even when you are at the highest or lowest point, the rails are underneath you keeping you on the ride. You come screeching into the station. The attendant asks if you enjoyed the ride.
In light of eternity, the ride was a blip 2 ½ minutes tops. You may have waited longer to get on the coaster than you did on the ride. Now you get to enjoy the rest of the time in the park. J