Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Peace on the Roller Coaster

Tink, tink, tink,..tink,....tink....

You've probably been there.  Five seats back from the front.  Steeply inclined.  Not daring to look over the side for the height.  You glance at your own white knuckles locked in a death grip around the handlebar in front of you.  Behind you is the escalating sound of laughter, shrieks, and even fear.  In front of you similar fated passengers await the impending reward of the mechanical climb.  Tink....tink......tink......  The poor souls in the first car begin to wail.  The idiot in car three shoots his hands into the air in a spasmic celebration of the event about to occur.  Tink.............tink............  You are at the apex and suddenly the panorama of the world is in full view...just before the plunge.

For those who have yet to experience the joys of a good old fashioned roller coaster ride, words are inadequate to describe the fear, the elation, the gravitational sensations, and the rush of emotion that overcomes the passenger as they step back onto the platform after the ride is over.  Personally, I like roller coasters, not necessarily the ones that absolutely try to realign your spine, but the ones that take you to heights, accelerate you through lows, pull you through loops and afford you vistas along the way.  I remember the first time I got to ride one night.  What a rush!  It was a large one that I had ridden many times previous but this new combination threw such confusion at the senses that at times you lost track of up from down and were always guessing what was coming next.

Sometimes when God is moving in my life, I get that rush, that exhilaration.  The problem is my life can be a a spine jarring roller coaster.  It has highs and lows, it takes turns and sometimes loops back on itself.  Sometimes there are grand vistas, sometimes I find myself in dark tunnels.  Have you ever felt that way?  Have you ever felt that you were barely hanging on, white knuckled?  Sometimes I get to feeling this way even when God is moving in my life.  There are times when you can pray for God's will in your life and when it starts to happen you better be prepared to hang on!  This is not to say our Father is the proverbial bull in a China shop, crashing through our lives with His plans and leaving us dazed and confused.  Rather, His promise to give us life to the fullest, overflowing and abundant (John 10:10) is a concept that our limited and often closed and faithless minds have trouble wrapping around. 

Occasionally, God will say "Let me show you" and you'll find yourself on the most exhilarating and, sometimes, fearful, ride of your life.  But it is only fearful because of our lack of knowledge of and faith in our Father.  This is an exercise in complete trust as the One who loves you infinitely more than any earthly father could, takes you on the greatest of journeys, the one He planned for your life before there was time.  He knew the steps and plans for your life before the cosmos was ordered and no effort of yours will cast that plan aside when we earnestly seek His will for our lives. 

And those "apex" moments?  They often come when God is about to do something big.  My bride and I are currently experiencing this.  We are just finalizing a difficult adoption and honestly, we feel entitled to a little rest.  The view is nice and finally tranquil as far as we can tell.  But God is saying to our hearts "I want you to see this".  Tink, tink, tink.  But fear should not enter into the equation, nor should complaint.  "But God, I just need a little down time, then I'll do what you want!" 

"But those who wait for the Lord who expect, look for, and hope in Him shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up close to God as eagles mount up to the sun; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired."
Isaiah 40:31 (AMP)

What kind of children are we if we ask for abundant life and provision and then demand that this all powerful and unstoppable God who knows our hearts better than we do, knows our capabilities better than we do, and knows the ways in which we need to grow better than we do - what kind of children are we to say "PLEASE PROVIDE" and then slap His hand away when He does just because it doesn't fit our preconceived notions of what that provision should look like or our timetable?  Have you ever said "No" based on your own timetables or how that provision fails to fit into your mold?  Or maybe we don't say "No" as much as we simply fail to hear.  "What God, oh did you mean me?"  How many opportunities in our lives have we missed out on because of this lack of humility and trust before our Father?

God is calling all of us to "super-living".  Life to the extreme, overflowing, abundant life.  This journey will be marked by valleys, it will be marked by mountain tops, highs and lows, there will be loops and times when our heads spin but the constant is the whisper "I'm right here, I said I would never leave you or forsake you".  No matter to whom or through what we are led, we can always possess joy during the ride and have Peace on the Roller Coaster.

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