Forgive me for being a bit predictable. In case you haven’t realized it yet, this journey is a roller coaster. One day things are down, and the next day up! Thank goodness for the up! To me, the ups are the mercies of God and they are new every morning!
I do love roller coasters. The scarier the better. What makes a really great roller coaster? Unpredictability. My daughter shares this love for roller coasters. My favorite coaster of all time is Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios. It has been awhile, but the day Becca and I discovered it, we rode it at least six times. When the car stopped at the end point, we gave each other the look. The look that said, “AGAIN!” After our 6th ride, stopped only because Doug and Ian were tired of waiting, the 6th ride was good, but not as good as ride 5. And ride 5 was just a little less intense than ride 4. The point is, as great as Revenge of the Mummy was, Becca and I slowly learned what to expect. It became a little less intense each time. Each successive ride took away just a bit of our delight.
I’ve been thinking about Revenge of the Mummy in light of the dark tunnel we seem to be riding through. And the long, dark, tunnel, a favorite aspect of the mummy ride, is not lost on me.
With God’s obvious intervention, my mind and the truth it knows, continues to temper my volatile heart and its fickle feelings. In the process, I’ve dusted off some relevant and helpful insights. New mercies I see….
The first mercy I see… the ride ends. Even though Becca and I rode the coaster six times, the ride came to an end. Linda Bush, a dear friend and sister in the Lord, is credited with this quote… “it says in the bible, it came to pass. Nowhere does it say, it came to stay!” Doing some research on the phrase, “And it came to pass” occurs 396 times in the King James version! (Or 453 time if you drop the “And.”) The phrase actually means something like, “It happened.” The point is, understanding this obvious truth reminds me, that IT will end. Consider what IT is in your life, and take heart in knowing IT came to pass.
The second mercy I see… trust the engineer. I do love roller coasters. But I have never researched them. A fact that may surprise you given my bent for control. I didn’t read up on the safety precautions of Revenge of the Mummy. I didn’t examine the tightness of the screws holding the rail in place. I barely listened to the instructions of the attendant just before the ride started. Instead, I buckled in, and with great anticipation trusted the engineer. I placed trust, even blind faith, in a ride at an amusement park! In spite of the fact that it is dangerous, and very manmade, I was content to trust the engineer. Why my reluctance to trust the engineer of my life; the creator and sustainer of all life? I can look to the bible to find a million examples of the payoff of trusting God. Even more relevant, I can look to my own personal history to know the payoff of trusting God. Duh! Really Debbie? You haven’t learned to trust me yet? GodsGotThis!
The third mercy I see… pity the bystander. When Becca and I were waiting in line for Revenge of the Mummy, it was easy to spot those not so excited — the riders, who were talked into it, the riders who wanted to prove something, or even the riders who were desperate to conquer it. When the ride finished though, curiously those same riders blended in. Everyone was buzzing. Everyone eager to describe to the bystanders what they had missed. I’m sure each recalled some highlights and probably some lowlights. But their excitement spoke volumes. They rode the ride. They received the benefit. Oh pity the bystander. What they missed?!
The prolonged, arduous, marathon -like season of Ian’s recovery is a ride of sorts. It is unpredictable for sure. But I suspect, when I look back, I will remember the ups and the downs — the special highlights and lowlights that God used to teach, to mold and to bring about His purposes. One thing is certain, I will have ridden the ride. I have not been a bystander. And I am counting on this…. I will have received it’s benefits.
Lamentations 3:23 “They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”