Opinion

The rollercoaster ride of life

“You must be at least this tall to ride this rollercoaster.”

When I was a kid, I simply could…not…wait until I was finally, finally, tall enough to ride a rollercoaster. I’m a short chick, so by the time I reached that minimum height requirement, I was a teen—and there was no rollercoaster fierce enough.

Twirl me around and upside down? Yes. Loop de loop? Twice, please. Flip me upside down and plunge me to the center of the earth? Bring on the magma, baby. You could launch me upside a mountain like a rocket and I’d be all “hands in the air, ya’ll!”

Hey, coaster. Is that all you got?

These days, what a different story. I merely glance at an unconvincing simulated coaster ride on my phone and suddenly I’m dropping the phone, grabbing onto the sides of the chair with a dramatic, “oh no no no.” I find myself wanting to give a stern lecture to any person who even pans their camera back and forth with too much gusto. We’re going to need a barf bag here before you start that business. It’s like I’m at an amusement park, but no longer amused.

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What in the world happened to my rollercoaster stamina? Hey, stamina. Is that all you got?

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People compare so many aspects of life to a rollercoaster. Including life itself. Life: rollercoaster. Stock market: rollercoaster. Relationships: rollercoaster. Emotions: rollercoaster. 2020: ROLLERCOASTER.

It’s true, life can be extraordinarily rollercoaster-esque, with its ups and downs, twists and turns. Sometimes we’re cheering for the adventure of it to never ever stop. Sometimes, it’s “oh no no no.” Sometimes we have eyes wide open, reveling in victory. Sometimes eyes squeezed tight in fearful feelings or failure. Happiest ups, saddest downs, with jerks to the left and right all between. Life can require more stamina than we think we have.

Through every high and low, one thing is for sure. Our mighty God is in control and He knows what’s best for us. Whether we know it or not. Whether we feel it or not. We can trust Him. He’s stronger, higher, wider, deeper, than we can fully grasp. As a matter of fact, we can’t ever wholly plumb the depths of our God. No matter how many times we ride the rollercoaster, it’s not enough to get the full picture of the loftiness of this all-knowing God.

That’s the hymn of praise from Romans 11:33-36. “Oh, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments and untraceable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? And who has ever given to God that he should be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen” (CSB).

We could plunge to the center of the earth and His wisdom and knowledge, His judgments, His ways—they would go deeper still.

There is no tight turn or steep slope He doesn’t see coming. In His omniscience, He sees the ride from beginning to end, and we can be confident that He has all power to work and intervene in the uppest ups, and the downest downs, and that He loves us and has our very best in mind.

Our stamina is in our God. We don’t have to have it. Oh, praise the God who has enough for all of us. Praise Him, hands in the air!

Meanwhile, when it comes to those earthly coasters, I’ve made a decision. I’m going to stick with something more my current speed. Like maybe a roller-TOASTER. It still has ups and downs. But hey, toast.



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