Suddenly I was whirling; things and people were jumping out at me with every turn. “Focus on the horizon”, I silently thought amid incessant gyrations. Clutching the safety bar, I desperately wanted off this ride. These feelings rushed back last week when I found myself on yet another roller coaster: one of emotions. Smack dab in the midst of both rides, my faith and obedience grew.
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. ~James 1:2-3
I do not tolerate spinning rides well. But as we inched closer in line, our excitement was building. Not sure what to expect, my daughter and I predicted the ride would be exhilarating. I anticipated the speed, darkness and sudden thrills, but not the spinning.
Last week started off fairly normal. I anticipated new opportunities, upcoming time off, routine schedules and procedures. Instead I received rejection, disappointment, anxiety and frustration. Reeling and swirling, I felt transported back to the theme park urgently wanting off this emotional roller coaster.
At the theme park, I knew the ride would end quickly. But in my life, bad news and situations just kept coming. I needed wisdom, comfort and reassurance. In both instances, I prayed and tried to focus.
Rotating and suspended in air, I strained to focus on one spot. I prayed to not lose my breakfast. Reading emails, sitting in the doctor’s office and juggling hectic schedules, I also focused and prayed. I focused on comforting Bible verses. I prayed for His loving reply to flow instead of my harsh one.
With every new spin, every new negative, I held on. On the ride, the safety bar held me still. In my life, His Word did the same. I knew He was there. Just as the bar provided safety, God’s Word provided peace. I knew situations were occurring for reasons I didn’t understand. Although shaken, I trusted the promises in His Word. But it wasn’t easy.
It wasn’t easy offering God’s blessings to someone who gave disappointment and frustration. It wasn’t easy altering detailed, well thought out plans. It wasn’t easy waiting for test results or holding my tongue. But I did all of it with His strength.
I endured the ride because of a promise to my daughter.
I endured the emotions because of a promise from my Savior.
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All the learning, listening and reading His Word came to fruition amid spinning emotions. His words were part of me. I drew wisdom and strength from His promises engraved in my mind. I rested in the peace and comfort He was with me, no matter what came next.
Early morning Bible reading, worship lessons and lyrics of Christian music all combined to see me through the emotional roller coaster. These small moments over time supplied the endurance and strength when life sent me spinning.
Drained, exhausted and a little queasy, I persevered and grew with both rides. I confirmed I do not tolerate most theme park rides. More importantly, God again demonstrated I can trust and obey Him in unwanted situations. With each passing experience, my faith grows deeper as He leads me, especially when the future is unclear.
I may not understand all of life’s sudden spins, but I do know who I can call upon in the midst of them. Trusting and obeying Him in faith, God always provides exactly what is needed to endure life’s roller coasters.
(The COMPEL writing tip I used here was creating an interesting hook in the lead to create interest/intrigue to read on. I enjoyed the roller coaster of writing this for you!)