I’m not sure I always feel like I’m in the seat. Sometimes I’m only holding on by one hand and flying out behind the roller coaster. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t feel that way. ~David Morse
My aunt and uncle took me to an amusement park when I was about ten years old. I had been to a few parks in my short life, but this was the big league. They had huge roller coasters.
My aunt wasn’t up for the thrill, but my uncle was Full-steam Ahead Charlie. Until we made it to the stand-on-your-feet-while-turning-every-direction-but-right-side-up coaster.
I was glad he didn’t take that one on. I didn’t want to have to be the party-pooper, but no way was I riding that.
Paul and Barnabas knew all about roller coasters, even though they weren’t invented yet.
The first century apostles traveled through what is now south-central Turkey teaching Gentiles about Jesus. They also taught some of the Jews who were living in that area. Sometimes it went well, and other times it didn’t.
In Acts 14 alone they barely escaped stoning, were believed to be gods and had sacrifices brought to them, and then they were back to being stoned- this time successfully. And that’s only one chapter.
But through it all, Paul and Barnabas continued to preach Jesus Christ . . . Savior, Messiah, Redeemer, Friend, and Roller Coaster Companion.
Sometimes life feels like a roller coaster. Days slowly drift one after another and then suddenly you’re tossed downhill at the speed of light.
The kitchen ceiling falls in, the dog dies, and the kids get the flu, complaining loudly that they will never take the vaccine again. Or your husband loses his job, your insurance is cut, and now there’s a pink stripe on the pregnancy test. Or how about your son is caught drinking and driving, your father with dementia gets lost while driving, and your teen-aged daughter is just plain driving you crazy?
You aren’t sure when it’s going to be over, but you really want to yell for your mommy. You wonder what your parents were thinking letting you out with these crazy relatives. And then it all straightens out and you realize you’re loved and protected with nothing to worry about. You were safe all along.
Then Jesus grins and raises his arms for the next loop-the-loop.
Where can I go to escape your spirit?
Where can I flee to escape your presence?
If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there.
If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be.
If I were to fly away on the wings of the dawn,
and settle down on the other side of the sea,
even there your hand would guide me,
your right hand would grab hold of me. Psalm 139:7-10 NET