I love roller coasters! I love to feel the wind in my hair and I love to scream and release all my suppressed emotions. My screams turn into uncontrollable laughter as the momentum of the train increases, giving me freedom of expression like I cannot get anywhere else in this world. My heart pounds in my chest at the anticipation of that next turn or loop-tee-loop. It’s hard to believe that a three or four minute ride could lift your spirits so high that you would feel exhilarated long after the ride is over and that you would yearn for the next opportunity to ride again.
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My walk with the Lord is much like a ride on a roller coaster. Now I don’t mean it is full of ups and downs and high-pitched hills and drastic drops. Well, maybe it is a little of that. But what I mean is – well, let me explain.
You know how when you are riding along on that track and you know that curve or that upside-down spiral that scares you to death is coming up and you are convinced that you that you are about to have a heart attack?
You fear for just a moment, even though you know your thoughts are preposterous, like the train will come off the track? For a minute, you feel like maybe, just maybe, you are about to die. Of course, your fears are totally unfounded. In just a flash of time, you are whipped around that bend or thrust down that hill or twisted like a pretzel and then – finally – you are upright and back on the straight and safe track and you can catch your breath.
Well, that is how I feel about my spiritual walk with the Lord. When I am burdened about something or praying for something to happen in my life and it is just not happening swiftly enough, I get this desperate feeling. An urgency crawls up my esophagus and threatens to choke me. I start to feel like that curve is coming up and my life is going to fly off that track into oblivion. God is not acting quickly enough for my liking and I feel, just for a moment, that He is not going to save me from going off the track or, more specifically, that He is not going to give me what I want.
Here is the thing – as long as I am seeking God’s will for my life, He will not let that train go off the track. He will not let me fall. He will answer my prayers. His answer will be “yes,” “no,” or “wait.” He may allow the ride to go on a little bit longer than I think I can stand, allowing me to experience a few more loop-tee-loops or spirals or mountainous hills and deep valleys. But He is the conductor! He knows at which moment I need to have the things I have prayed for. He knows the perfect time to open that door I have prayed open. He knows when my heart has had all the anticipation it can stand and when I am ready for and in desperate need of that train coming to a bit of safe track.
In the last month, while I was fasting, I got to see the Lord do some amazing things in the lives of some of my friends. He provided house payments. He provided clarity on relationships for some. He provided job interviews for others and even a job for one friend. He provided a way out of addiction for another. He provided financial blessings for my family and even some great news from my publisher for me!
So I kind of like having a roller coaster spiritual walk with my Jesus. My heart gets to pound uncontrollably as I see Him working in my life and in the lives of those I love. My blood pumps ferociously through my body. I get to scream and laugh and even wiggle in my seat as I see His will revealed – even when the answer is not what I wanted or expected. And when that portion of the ride is over and it is time to get off the train, I am ready to stand in line for the next ride because a ride with the Lord is worth all the ups and downs, twists and turns, lunges and lurches. Oh, life is so exciting when you ride a roller coaster with the Lord!