Roller Coaster Life
Life is full of ups and downs. When I was younger, I used to love roller coasters. The bigger, faster, taller,
longer they were the better. Some find this unusual because I am afraid of heights. I often joke that God
made me short because he knew I would be afraid of heights. This fact seems counter-intuitive to my
love for roller coasters. The real key is that while there is a lot of tension built as you climb to the top of
that first hill, you do not stay there long. In a split of a second that sometimes feels like an eternity you
are on your way back down. This is the joy and the thrill of the roller coaster.
However, roller coaster experiences in our regular lives are very hard to take, and often scare us more
than the amusement ride. Emotions, feelings, struggles, circumstances, family and work challenges, all
have the tendency to take us on a roller coaster ride. A ride fueled by a mixture of fear, dread, anxiety,
aloneness, countered with moments of joy, happiness, and life. This is the nature of our human
As we move through Spring and the season of Lent we are often reminded of this emotional and
physical nature of life. The ups and downs of weather. Hide and seek between sunny days and grey
ones. The anticipation and joy of a new season, tempered by the reality of the season we are in. It is
almost as if it was intentional that the God’s work of redemption took place in the spring.
The story of Jesus runs the full spectrum of joy and sorrow. Throughout His life and ministry, we
experience the joys of ministry and healing, the intimate relationship with His father and His disciples.
We also see the pain of loneliness and rejection, and the ugliness of hatred. Nowhere do we see this
more drastically than the period between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Shouts of acclimation and
praise, calls for kingship and redeemer quickly turned to cries of condemnation and cries for a brutal
death. Mixed into this week is the intimate conversation between Jesus and His father, in the Garden of
Gethsemane on the night of His arrest. This was a struggle of epic proportion. Jesus knew what was
waiting ahead, this was the main reason he came to earth as a man, but that knowledge did not calm his
fears of the pain, humiliation ad total abandonment that would come in just a short time. In this
conversation He asked the father if there were any other way and finding none he placed himself in the
Father’s hands. “Nevertheless, thy will be done.” Four amazingly simple words that held the power to
change everything. “Thy will be done”
As we move through our lives, experiencing all the ups and downs. The good and the not so good. The
expected and the not expected, we can take comfort in the fact that God the Father has a plan, and
even though it may be scary, He knows the ultimate outcome and we can trust Him. And we can find
courage in knowing that Jesus, our savior, has been there before us and has won the victory.