Do you have days where faith feels like a roller coaster ride?
The ups, the downs, the stomach-in-your-mouth turns?
If you’re silently whispering me too, you’re not alone.
We click along fine, the kind of fine that pulls out of the gate nice and easy, slow and steady.
The coaster clicks along the track, gaining speed as time progresses. Can you feel the breeze in your hair as the scenery whizzes by?
Hey, this is easy. This is do-able. Life is good. I like this walk of faith.
A stomach-in-the-mouth dip jumps on us. We gasp for breath, taken aback by the surprise.
Where did that come from?
Why did they do that?
Why did she say that?
Why can’t I ever get it right?
Why did he treat me like that?
Like Peter, we follow Jesus. Eternity is not in question. We love our Savior. But there’s distance in that faith follow.
When the challenges come, we whip out our sword of self-will.
Like Peter facing Malchus, the servant at Jesus’ arrest (John 18), we do what seems rational, protective, or reactive in situations.
Entertaining hurt feelings.
Gossiping, often slyly known as “discussing” or “a prayer request”.
Lashing out in anger.
Like Peter when the cock crowed, we’re left with a batch of denial. Maybe tears, too.
Oh, I understand. How many times I’ve run with my own solutions versus faith, grabbing that sword and slicing away.
I’ve been a Peter.
- I’ve answered without praying. More times than I’d ever like to think.
- Walked without consulting. It’s the strong-willed child syndrome.
- Reacted without drawing near. Just do something!
But as with Peter, Jesus awaits you and me.
There’s hope. In His mercy, Jesus sees past those roller coaster rides.
He forgives. Just ask.
- The dips we caused and those we didn’t
- Not-s0-righteous reactions
- Every single sword slice we mustered.
With faithfulness, He waits.
Because heaven is on the horizon.
With love, He coaxes for a sword set-down.
And He asks:
Do you love me?
Take care of my sheep.
Do you love me?
Feed my sheep.
Do you love me?
Follow me. (John 21)
Peter did. He left the roller coaster ride, setting down his sword, and followed in faith.
We can too.
We can leave the ride and lead people to the Jesus well, the one where never a soul goes thirsty. Ever.
With faith, drink it in. And pass the cup.
Even in the dips, twists, turns, and curves, this is worship beyond surface level.
It’s deep calling out to deep.
It’s faith walking into maturity – the place where the dips, curves, twists, and turns become less tumultuous. It’s where confidence rises, dependence even more, where words are strong, and motives are purely Jesus.
The sword set-down in faith is a place where the Holy Spirit equips and lives are changed. What does it look like in real life? It might be:
~Taking care of his sheep
Be a friend
Reach out to stranger and favorites alike, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Pray with others – one-on-one, in groups, via email or message, or simply by yourself in the solo prayer closet
Send encouraging texts, emails, phone calls, and cards
Do what needs to be done, with convenience set aside.
~Follow Jesus…in Faith
There is one lifeline for me concerning this recently as I’m learning to apply it to everyday, seemingly simple dips in the roller coaster ride of life.
When I want to be hurt, I go to it.
Angry? This too.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says just trust me I’ve got this. Recite it well, my friend, as you follow closely.
Trust in Yahweh with all your heart,
and don’t lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 WEB