I love roller-coasters. I am not sure why I do because every time I ride one, my stomach churns out of nervousness as the carriages clickety clack to the peak of the hill where they pause for a split second. This pause enables a glance at the massive drop ahead before I plummet down the hill. And then, as the momentum builds the combination of screaming and laughing occurs partly out of exhilaration and partly out of terror. The most confusing thing is once it is all over, no matter how big the roller coaster, I always have the urge to do it all over again.
I was thinking about roller-coasters at 3am this morning as the second bout of chemo side effects hit. During this time It occurred to me that whatever journey we are on there are usually a roller-coaster ride of emotions involved. Moments of the “calm before the storm”. Moments of being unsettled or fearful when our journey goes in a direction that wasn’t in our original plan. Moments of pausing where we are at a standstill while we wait for news whether it be good or not so good. Then there are moments where your stomach drops either from relief or from having to process through the mess. And then the cycle repeats.
Whatever moment you are up to in your “roller-coaster” journey, the one thing that can keep you on the right track is to cling to the truths found in God’s Word. I have especially found this so important in my current season.
Over the last four months I have I have learnt to hold fast to one of my favourite Bible verses found in the book of Proverbs as it is a guide as to how we can get through each moment that comes across our path:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths. Prov 3:5-6 (NKJV)
Trusting in God with all our heart means leaning on Gods understanding not ours, acknowledging that His ways are higher than ours and that He sees things ahead that we cannot.
We can try to psychoanalyse each step of the way in an attempt to guess what comes next, but I can tell you it is much better to lean on the fact that God has the bigger picture and knows what’s best for us. By acknowledging His role in our life each step of the way, by clinging to the truths found in His Word no matter how we might be feeling, it helps us to move the focus from our “hard place” to look to God which enables a sense of peace that transcends all understanding and helps to remove fear.
You see, I could’ve been overwhelmed by fear when I knew there was a strong possibility I would not wake up from my massive surgery, but instead I clung to the fact the God was in control and had already gone ahead as it says in the book of Deutoronomy.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deut 31:8 (NIV).
I could’ve been devastated that I was Stage 3C and be overwhelmed by the medical statistics but instead I thanked God that I wasn’t Stage 4 and praised Him by acknowledging that His truths trump any statistics remembering that my time is in his hands and He alone numbers our days as it says in the book of Psalms.
But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; (Psalm 31:14-15a NIV)
Whenever we have those crisis moments, we all have a choice to wallow or to trust and praise. My friends I have done both many a time over the years and can tell you that the journey is much easier no matter how big our “giant” is when we surrender our giant to the One who sees all, knows all and can conquer all. Once we surrender and acknowledge Him, He will make our paths straight He will guide us along the way by comforting us, providing for us, and at times healing us in this lifetime or when we reach our forever home.
To put it simply, as Lysa Terkeurst has often said, “God is good, and God is good at being God”.
Let’s cling to this truth
Dear Lord, as we negotiate the roller-coaster of emotions that come in the hard times of life may we hold fast to the truths of Your Word every step of the way. Help us to be so focused on you that we will be enveloped by your peace that transcends all understanding. In Jesus Name, Amen.