Oh, the roller coasters we ride. The ups. The downs. The extreme highs. The deepest lows. The highest highs and lowest lows can even happen in one day.
But while our bodies and minds and circumstances often have no choice but to experience the wild ride on roller coasters, can our hearts remain stayed upon truth, stable, steady, and secure?
I think they can.
I rode a roller coaster today, metaphorically that is.
The Low: Right before I was to arrive at a greatly-anticipated baseball game to watch my sons’ team play, we received news that a long battle we had been facing was lost. It was over, done. All the time, money, energy, etc. couldn’t revive our hopes. It was done. We are at a crossroads in our lives and with a crossroads often comes unwanted decisions to make and uncertainties not only about the future, but about how to proceed. Receiving the news…yes, that was the deepest low of the roller coaster ride today. It’s a deep low that will have a significant impact on the days and months and years to come.
The High: The difficult news came just as I was driving up to the American Legion Baseball Championship in North Carolina. My sons were part of the team. This was a high, something which we have so looked forward to. They had worked daily towards this goal. Blood, sweat, and tears, and tenacity, along with determination, strategies and dedication of the coaches helped this awesome group of boys to reach this goal. The highest height came as they won the state championship. They won! State!! Yes, this was the definite ‘high’ of today’s roller coaster ride of life.
So here’s the thing. I think I’m learning something through all of this. That yes, our hearts can indeed remain steady. Why? Because One thing remains…one truth I can hold on to. The Truth is this: that the Almighty God is with me on the ride, through the highs and the lows. Does it change the ride? No. It doesn’t change the nature of the twists and turns of the ride itself. It doesn’t change the physiological responses I’ll have to the wild ride, or the fears, or adrenaline rush, or gut-wrenching screams that may come as a result of riding a roller coaster. But what does it change? Me. My awareness. My focus. My comfort level in knowing that there is One Present who knows the roller coaster ride I’m on like the palm of His Hand. He knows what’s before, and what’s behind. And He is with us in the midst of any “ride” in life that we may willingly or unwillingly be ‘privileged’ to ride. Love that. It makes all the difference for sure.
And one more thing. This photo was taken on the way home after this roller coaster of a day. I was thankful just for the moment I was in, and reflecting on how God has been so faithful in the midst of so very many twists and turns in my not-so-gone-as-planned life. But, one thing remains…God is with us. Because of that fact, that Truth, that Hope, I can face whatever may be on the horizon. Oh, and by the way, a little while after this photo was taken, my daughter and I witnessed the most amazing sunset I have ever seen in my life. The almost fuschia-colored sun was on the horizon and appeared to take up a third of the horizon! My daughter kept saying, “that can’t be real!” But it was real. And so is my God. I love how He shows up. And when the sun goes down and darkness comes, that sun is still present. Sometimes we just have to endure darkness for awhile. But one thing remains: even in the darkness, we know that the light is coming. And even in the deepest lows of life, one thing remains, God is present.
By His Grace ~
P.S. One more thought. Roller coasters are FULL of surprises! Right when we think we may be going for a wild ride to the depths, we may be swept to the right or left and climb to the highest heights. So it is with our Lord. We never know what answered prayers or surprises He may have around the corner. Thankful for Hope in Him. Period.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39