The Roller Coaster
God never ceases to amaze me.
I had decided not to write a blog this week. I felt I needed a break. Emotions have been running on high lately for myself and so many who are close to me. I seem to be strapped into the roller coaster of happiness and sadness with no way out.
One minute I am celebrating the life of a dear friend’s son who was taken much too soon and the next minute raising a toast to our son who turned forty and our baby, who is having a baby! Then, it was back to the heartache of my son-in-law and his quiet strength as we celebrate and he grieves deeply for his mom. All this, on the same day, within hours of each other. As one person put it, “That’s the problem with loving deeply.” To which I responded, “Then I quit.”
So that is where I’m at.
This morning I decided to walk over to the Sendiks nearby and do some shopping. Just as I turned down the produce aisle, I heard the all too familiar muffled sound of my name coming from behind a mask. It was an old friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time. She proceeded to tell me she didn’t have long to talk, her husband was waiting in the car, but she had been meaning to contact me and tell me how much these blogs have helped her through the challenges of the last few years. With a lump in her throat, she delivered a message from God to me. (Thanks Karen!)
So here I am at the computer.
After my encounter in the produce aisle, I was reminded of the fact that we are all on that some roller coaster and there really isn’t any way off. Not as long as we love. So, we need to settle in, relax, and stop screaming. Stop focusing our attentions on how many more dips or how to get off, and instead, let the ups take us to places of deep joy and the downs take us into the arms of each other and God.
In Truth Be Told, the bible study at Firstfruits, we are studying the book of Isaiah. It so powerfully and clearly paints a picture of what a loving relationship with God looks like.
One of the homework questions for this week was “Do I get in the way of my relationship with God? If yes, how?”
My answer was a resounding “yes,” and the way I do that is to waver in my belief in and dependence on God’s promise to be intimately present and his desire to give me the help I need to live life in peace. It takes practice and a special effort at first, but as Brother Lawrence in his collection of letters called The Practice of the Presence of God states, “After a while we find that God’s love inwardly inspires us to do all things for God effortlessly.” Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
He’s buckled in next to us on the roller coaster, longing to make a difference. We just have to get in the practice of asking.