Roller Coaster Rides

Thoughts Along the Way©

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,

I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart

            And my portion forever. Psalm 73:21-25

             Growing up in rural Iowa, I would go to the county fair one day each summer. This was a big day as I enjoyed all of the activity – the 4-H booth where I sometimes had something being judged, the rides, and all of the people. The booths and displays were interesting but I really wanted to go on the thrill rides. No one in my family liked to go on them with me though because I often got sick. One ride seemed to be almost beyond my limit. As an adult, I discovered screaming on roller coasters. The scream released the tension and kept my insides inside. Roller coasters became enjoyable although I still don’t ride the really scary ones.

            My life sometimes feels like a roller coaster in that it has ups and downs. Some I can see coming and some are unexpected. I don’t know which is worse, anticipating what is coming or not. Everybody’s life has ups and downs, twists and turns to some extent. Some of us seem to live on giant roller coasters and some of us live on roller coasters designed for those who get motion sickness. My life has been more of the latter kind but I must admit that I don’t always enjoy the “downs” that come my way although I do enjoy the “ups.”

            On roller coasters I learned to scream to deal with the motion sickness. Like the Psalmist, I learning to cry out to God in all parts of my life – physical, emotional and spiritual. He is my hope for the “downs” and my joy for the “ups.” No, I don’t want the downs but I am learning to rejoice in them as I realize how they drive me back to the cross for my every need. I once again live as the little girl who desperately needs her Daddy to take care of her.

The ups and downs of a roller coaster can be exciting, terrifying, thrilling, sickening or entertaining. Life can be the same but with Jesus I know that I am safe and there is a reason for the twists and turns. God has a plan and that plan is for my good and His glory. I may not always understand, but I can thank God for His care and blessing even in the midst of my disorientation.


Prayer: Father, I thank You for the ups and downs of my life because without them I would act like god thinking that I can handle life on my own. Forgive me for the many many times that I have failed to trust You because life seemed under my control. Teach my heart to rejoice not only in the easy times but to have a quiet trusting joy in the hard times as well. I want my life to be for Your glory not just for my comfort.

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