Along for the Ride

A few years ago, my cousins Josh and Karla spent the day riding roller coasters at a nearby amusement park.   After their first exciting ride, Karla lifted up the lap bar on her seat and climbed out.  Josh’s bar, however, wouldn’t budge.

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” a worker said.  “I’ll let you ride again.  When it comes back around, I’m sure the bar will pop right open.”

So Josh got a free ride without even waiting in line.  Lucky, right?   Kind of.  The only problem was when he pulled back into the boarding area, the bar still didn’t open.  Another set of passengers exited.  Another set climbed on.  Josh got to ride again.

And again.  And again.  And again.

The first three rides were fun.  After that, it just got ridiculous.

Eventually, they wouldn’t let anyone else on the coaster.  The people in line didn’t understand what was going on and started to complain, “Who does this kid think he is?  Why does he get to keep riding?”  They probably wondered if he was famous.

But he wasn’t famous.  He was fed up.  All he wanted to do was get off the ride.

You ever felt like that?  Like your life is a roller coaster and you just don’t know how to stop it?  Maybe from the outside everyone thinks your life is great, but if they knew what it was like to be you, they’d see a different story.

Sometimes we bring this kind of drama on ourselves.  Our own dumb choices can easily cause our lives to spin out of control.  Other times, it’s purely circumstantial.  Have you ever been in one of those seasons where it seems like every day is filled with bad news?

There was a guy in the Bible like that.  His name was Job.  In a series of major bummers, he lost his money, his kids and his health.   He lost everything except for his nagging wife and his judgmental friends.  It was an all around bad year.

Job was stuck on the crummiest ride in the park and kept going around again and again.  But of all things Job lost, the one thing he held onto was his relationship with God.  Job wrestled with God, asked him honest questions with raw emotion, and God answered.  At the end of the whole deal, Job had a new understanding of God, not despite his circumstances, but because of them.

Eventually, Job’s ride was over.  After his encounter with God, life got better.  God didn’t undo the loss and the bad circumstances, but He did help Job move forward to a better life and a brighter future.

My cousin Josh was miraculously freed too.   After seven times around the track, the lap bar popped right open, and his adventure was over, just like that.  Who knows?  Maybe today, your wild ride is about over too.

Whatever roller coaster you’re stuck on this week, remember that you’re not riding alone.  There is a God who loves you who will you see you through to end of the track.




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