Do you remember your first roller coaster ride? I, certainly, do; the anxiety of waiting in line, hearing the screams, seeing the cars on the track whizzing by. How I wanted the line to hurry up and move because it seemed the longer I waited, the more fearful I became. Then, once on, that agonizing climb of the first drop, and seeing the all the seats in front of you disappearing, AND, you can only see “so much of” the track; you can’t see all the twists and turns until you are thrown into them. Then, in the middle of the ride, the screams of fear turn into screams of jubilation because it’s so much fun…THE SPEED, THE DROPS. When the ride was over, I couldn’t wait to get back in line to ride it again!
I will always remember what my dad told me, during the long ride up, on my first “big coaster” ride,
Pun’kin’, just before reaching the very top, take a deep breath, then scream as we go down and it will help ease “that feeling” you will get.
Our walk with CHRIST is the same; we go through stuff, at times very difficult, *and sometimes have the notion to get out of line and not ride *(a trick of the enemy that works with some). **We see only so far ahead, we don’t see the whole picture, not even the end, but we know the end is coming -
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path~Ps 119:105
(I remember hearing a sermon about this verse, many years ago; talking about how shepherds would have just enough light to see little bits of ground at a time, and they needed to watch their steps and pay attention where the light was hitting).
In the middle of certain situations, it feels as if we have reached our breaking point and fear will start to take a grip. Then, we hear a hymn, a Gospel song, a sermon, or a word from someone that speaks to the very core of our situation, and we get encouraged and inspired to keep going. So, by the time the “it” is over, we look back and see all that the LORD saw is THROUGH (not left us in it), that we can and should always, count it all joy.
…So I thank God for the mountains
and I thank HIM for the valleys
and I thank HIM for the storms HE’s brought me through
For if I never had a problem
I’d never know that God could solve them
I’d never know what faith in HIS WORD could do…~Through it All by Andre Crouch
I don’t know who this post is for tonight. Maybe the HOLY SPIRIT is using my typing fingers to minister to myself because of the roller coaster ride we are going through as a family unit, and individual roller coasters we are facing. I can’t say for sure, except to say, No matter what, seriously, regardless of how bad “the situation(s)” is/are,
*we are more than conquerors through HIM that loved us ~ Romans 8:37
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate *us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:38-39
*you are not in this alone
This day started out rough, and had all the earmarks of ending rougher, it almost did; typical family stress, nothing unusual, but there is always a heaviness after arguments/flare-ups, at least I can sense it. Similar to visiting with friends or family and the atmosphere “is so thick, you can cut the tension with a knife”.
Well, that’s the sort of evening it was turning out to be. Everyone had gone into the separate corners, if you will, and it was just QUIET; an uncomfortable quiet. With lights off I decided to see if I could “find my muse”, not likely in that atmosphere. I couldn’t concentrate. Then a few moments later, I hear my #3 (18 yr.) sniffling. Thinking she had come out of her room after thinking about the evening, and being saddened by it, I called to her. She had her earphones on, but I couldn’t see them in the dark. When I asked her what was wrong, she said,
“I’m just listening to a song.”
Relieved, I asked her what it was and she handed me her mp3 player and I heard this:
I patted the sofa cushion next to me, and she sat, with her head on my shoulder (she hardly ever does that anymore), and wept. And suddenly I felt so privileged to, not only, spend a “little girl cuddle moment” with her, but most importantly, I was able to see, after a very rough night with this very child of mine, a young lady who loves JESUS so much, who was being touched by the HOLY SPIRIT. No doubt she was receiving a “little girl cuddle moment” from HIM, too.
For most of us, we can relate to the lyrics of this song, based on The Parable of the Prodigal Son; either with the Prodigal himself, or the son who stayed and felt unappreciated and unnoticed by the FATHER:
“You’re doing this for him?! I stayed, I was good, why didn’t you give me what you are giving…?” (we have our moments when we question GOD, or there was a moment in time when we did once.)
and the FATHER replied,(paraphrased)
“I would have given, if you would have asked me.” (which reminds me of what Jesus said, “you have not because you ask not”) There are so many facets to this parable.
How sweet an ending to this night…
“…Create in me a clean heart, O god; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me (with thy) free Spirit. (THEN), will i teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee…” (Psalm 51:10-14) *but I recommend the entire chapter*
I love the Winans; and how many times I used to sing this in church, but never actually paid attention to it until a few moments ago. Keeps me in check, that’s for sure. There is nobody on this earth who is perfect. If some people say or THINK they are not, they are lying…PERIOD. (some do think and say thay). And I will be the first to admit that I am NOT. However, we can strive to be. And if we fall short, we need to recognize and acknowledge the fact that we “messed up”, and get back up, and BELIEVE that WE ARE FORGIVEN from the very moment we ask to be. But we need to be cleansed, dying to ourselves DAILY, “THEN will…” (ps. 51:13) Can’t pour new wine in an old wine skin. The old corrupts the new.
I remember something that I used to tell my kids when they were in primary school, and not applying themselves,
“All Olympic Athletes don’t win the gold medal, but they all TRAIN to achieve it.”
The same is true with everything in life, but I’m speaking from the FAITH side, the Christian Walk aspect. There is a reason feel convicted to do this post. And I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if I get convicted, at a later time, to divulge the reason. What I will say is that much like the apostle Paul, there is a “thorn in my flesh” which has not been removed. And for whatever purpose it’s serving, I am aware that it keeps me humble and constantly seeking HIS FACE, and not HIS HANDS. I prefer HIS PRESENCE…HE IS NOT my “SPIRITUAL SANTA CLAUSE”. HE’s my FATHER (our FATHER).
But we need to be cleansed, dying to ourselves DAILY, “THEN will…” (ps. 51:13) Can’t pour new wine in an old wine skin. The old corrupts the new.
So for all of you out there, non-believer and believer alike, who feel condemnation/guilty about your short comings, especially the ones that nobody else knows about except the LORD, STOP. And follow the example in the reference given.
This post, certainly went where it wanted to go, and I certainly didn’t want to be “preachy”. It was burning inside me, and it needed to come out…