In early June, my son, Josiah, and I went to Six Flags Great America in Chicago to ride roller coasters for the day. The day was cool and the crowd was light - it was going to be a good day. In case you are wondering, I did like coasters - at least when I was younger. Yet shortly after riding three or four roller coasters that day, I realized that my body had changed over the years, and I was not responding so well to being upside down, inside out, over, under, twisting and turning. As I consider this, I am asking myself “ Why are you surprised that you did not feel so good?” After all, given what a roller coaster does to your body, it is a wonder that anyone gets off feeling normal! The problem that day was that I was not the only one to take into consideration! Josiah was with me, and his body was only being stimulated by these rides. He was ready for more and more!
After the fourth or fifth ride, I began to wonder how in the world I was going to make it through this day! Maybe you have had a day like this. You had great plans and a clear vision for how it was going to work out until... this went wrong, that person showed up or did not show up, or your body decided to do this instead of that. It is one thing when it is just you - you can roll with it. Yet when others are depending on you, it is a whole different issue. You can’t let them down - they are counting on you. You can’t fail and ruin their day/life! This is how we process it (at least I do - and I would imagine I am not alone).
In these moments we question God and wonder, “How could you let this happen?” or, “Why don’t you solve this issue?” “If you love me, why don’t you rescue me?” Or even better, “Why God did you let this happen?”
May I ask you the question that popped into my head? Do we really trust that God loves us? Do we believe God is able to change the situation? It is easy to trust God when all is well, but we respond completely different when the wheels seem to be falling off the “car.”
In Deuteronomy 31, Moses is telling the nation of Israel that he will not be going with them into the Promise Land. It is not stated in scripture but I can hear it, the Israelite's response to this news “WHAT?!” God, what are you doing? How can you let this happen? They were scared about how were they going to make it. Was God just abandoning them? Let us learn we are not the first ones to encounter this issue. The next time you read scripture, look to see if the “wheels” come off and see how God responds. May we learn God’s love is not fickle and that God is working in ways we may not understand (Isaiah 55:8). His love for you and me never stops and if we will trust him we may be amazed how he is working if we will just look for him.
So how did my day end at Great America? As we were walking to the next roller coaster and I am wondering how am I going to make it, we run into Laura’s cousin who is there with her son and his friend. Guess what! She likes roller coasters! She informed us that she had no one to ride with! So we rode a roller coaster, chatted for a while, and then parted ways. You probably thought I was going to ask her to ride with Josiah. Though I did not think about it at first, eventually I did hear God whisper “ask Jenny.” I did. She quickly agreed, and Josiah had a great long day of riding roller coasters.
Some of you may know this, some may not, but I want to proclaim this truth - God is good all the time, and all the time God is good! May you and I keep trusting that God is amazing and is working in our lives for his good and glory and showing his love for us along the way.