My dad had a best friend for the last forty five years. They enjoyed traveling to the amusement park, Cedar Point, and riding the roller coasters together. Dad loved it that his friend was just as enthusiastic as he was, that they would both raise their arms and seemingly free fall through the sky as their coaster plummeted. I was ten years old when a discovery shocked us all and rocked our paradigms.
Dad’s friend had been secretly taking MOTION SICKNESS PILLS for decades!
The revelation rocked my father’s world.
Dad confided in us that he had to struggle to accept that his friend was still genuinely enjoying the roller coater rides, given that his stomach was numb to the flips and flops of a non medicated rider on the rails.
Spiritually, I have adopted a similar view.
I thought that when ups and downs hit me in my life, my job was to “trust and obey in spite of the chaos swirling around me”, all the while becoming white knuckled in my honesty and grief.
I am not negating the value in honesty, grief, or faith.
I simply propose that my focus has been too often consumed with my situation, or my circumstances, and I have almost squawked out a shrill, “God, it’s a mayday here, and life is chaotic but I trust you!” I have allowed my inner state to be dictated by my circumstances, in the name of honest Christianity.
My gaze has not been fully fixed on Christ, but instead, I have attempted to dart a glance at him in between monitoring my life’s circumstances.
These last few weeks have held so many moving pieces, that James and I frequently joked about wondering which floating ice berg would move us closest to shore.
Yet, this time was different than any other.
This time we intentionally set aside specific times to simply sit in deliberate awe of who God is.
I say deliberate awe because it took every ounce of energy at times to peel our eyes off of ourselves and secure our gazes on the One who never changes.
My circumstances have shifted almost comically in the last few weeks, but my gaze is fixed. My stomach hasn’t flipped or flopped. I haven’t held back my honesty in my petition to God, but I have learned the discipline of awe.
I have learned the beautiful stillness that comes when I remember who God is, who He says He is, and how He is unchanging.
Being the guilt monger that I am, I felt guilty at first for not feeling panicked about our circumstances. Then, however, I remembered that no matter what,
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea-the LORD on high is mighty.
Your situation may be overwhelming, but please know that He is overwhelming in his strength and love for you.
May your gaze be fixed on him, and may His love for you be revealed.