Life’s Rollercoasters

cyclone roller coaster ride
Photo by Tim Gouw on

“Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.” Psalm 31:5 ESV

I don’t know about you, but I have always loved a good rollercoaster ride!  As a child, I remember spending one day every year at a large amusement park.  There was a particular rollercoaster that was my favorite.  When the lines weren’t too long, we would ride that coaster countless times.   My brothers had a preferred seat in the very back.  They believed that you could feel the most momentum of the ride and get the greatest effect by sitting in the last car.  You also had the best view of everyone riding with you.

Looking at the other passengers, I was always a little in awe of the people who would raise their hands above their heads as the coaster plunged down the steep hills.  I thought they were crazy!  My hands could be found holding tightly to the safety bar in front of me.  Until one day, I let go.

I will admit that it took a lot of courage to take my hands off and trust that the safety bar would do its job and keep me in the car, but you know what?  It did!  The freedom and exhilaration I felt on that rollercoaster ride was greater than all the countless rides I had taken before.

I think this is what David experienced every time he encountered difficulties in his life.  Time and time again, as he writes in the Book of Psalms, we see him on an emotional roller coaster ride.  I imagine, as he cries in distress, focused intently on the troubles directly in front of him, that David’s hands are gripping tightly to the safety of his own abilities. (Psalm 31: 9-13 ESV) Then, all of the sudden, it is as if he takes his hands off the bar and raises them above his head.  We see David’s focus shift from what is in front of him, to the One who is above him.  His fear transforms to freedom, as he relinquishes control and surrenders his trust to the Lord.  (Psalm 31: 14-23 ESV)

Are you on an emotional rollercoaster?  If the answer is yes, I encourage you to check the position of your hands.  Are you holding too tightly to the safety bar (your own abilities, your job, your relationships, your reputation, your goals, etc.)?  Instead, try letting go and raise your hands to the One above.  It will take courage, but as you raise your hands to the One who holds you in His hand (Psalm 139:10 ESV), your fear will turn into freedom.  David issues the reminder over and over again that in order to be “full of faith”, you must empty your “self”. (Psalm 31:24 ESV)

We are guaranteed that our life as followers of Christ will be full of rollercoaster moments, but we have a choice in how we experience them. (John 16: 33 ESV). We can hold tightly to fear and anxiety or we can just let go, surrender, raise our hands to heaven and enjoy the ride!  Today, which will you choose?

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