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Hang on for the Ride!

22 Apr

In her post on the Christian e-zine, The Christ Pulse, author Karen O’Connor wrote about a group of women who toured London tearooms. Her description of the “White Knuckle Ride” on a British double-decker bus that make me laugh.

Karen wrote that the women downstairs were attentive and happy, but when she walked to the top deck to talk to the women , the passengers “were sitting like soldiers on alert,” clutching the seats in front of them.

“Is anything wrong?” she asked.”We’re having a great time downstairs, but you don’t appear to be enjoying yourselves.”

As Karen looked around, “One of the ladies looked up at me with a touch of fear in her eyes,” she said.

And then one of them spoke up in a small voice, “That’s because you have a driver!”

I couldn’t help but see a parallel.

It always helps to know that someone is “driving” our lives. Knowing someone is in charge alleviates our fears and concerns.

As I think about my journey in life, four things have helped me relax and hang on for the ride.

(1) God’s Sovereignty – He’s always in charge (Psalm 103:19). In His sovereignty, God rules over all (Psalm 115:3; ). He is totally in control and nothing is impossible for Him (Job 42:2; Luke 1:37). We may make plans from our perspective, but God sees the bigger picture, so we can trust His promises and purposes (Proverbs 16:1-4).

(2) God’s Loving Presence – He never leaves me, even when I can’t “see” Him at work (Psalm 139:7). I am never alone. His presence is a place of protection (Psalm 31:20). Knowing He is near, I have joy and I can rest (Psalm 16:11; Exodus 33:14).

(3) God’s FaithfulnessHe has always led me well … never led me wrong. He is good and merciful to His children (Psalm 145:9) ~ while there is no doubt that He works for His purposes, He also is concerned for my well-being (Jeremiah 29:11).

(4) God’s Wisdom – He’s more than willing to give me direction through the scriptures (Psalm 119:105) and the Spirit (Psalm 143:10; John 16:13). He will guide and teach me the right way to go, because my “enemies” (including temptations that arise from within me) mean to do me harm (Psalm 25:5; 27:11). I simply need to acknowledge (know and recognize) His voice and listen to His wise instruction (Proverbs 3:6).

I am not a roller coaster fan, mostly because I get dizzy every time, but I do occasionally allow myself to be strapped in ~ and as you well know, once you’re strapped in and the coaster is moving, there’s no turning back. The ride may get uncomfortable, but you’re not going anywhere except up and down (and maybe upside down) on the tracks.

The best way to ride a roller coaster is simply to surrender to the adventure. You may scream… your emotions may go wild… you may even feel a little queasy… but you will eventually arrive at the ride’s destination.

When I became a Christ-follower, I was “strapped in” for the ride. No turning back. It hasn’t always been easy. The ups and downs of life and the corkscrew turns that made my head spin ~ it’s all been part of the ride. But I know that God had purpose in each one, and that He was there with me the whole time. He’s been right beside me, cheering me on.

God has given me insight into how to make the ride a blessing rather than something to be endured. And just as I lift my hands high on the coaster, I find myself lifting my hands is sheer joy at times, praising my God for one incredible “ride.”

How about you? Does your life feel like a roller coaster these days? Remember that God is in control. He loves you and stays close by your side. And He is faithful and wise ~ He can be trusted! 

Do you believe these things? Get ready … in this great adventure with God, you haven’t seen anything yet!

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God Knows Where You Are

29 Jan

While cleaning the attic, Joan and Harry found an old stub for some shoes they left at the repair shop TEN YEARS BEFORE! They thought it would be fun to go to the shop and see if the shoes were still there. So they did.

They handed the stub to the repair man who took it and looked in the back of the store. Joan and Harry grinned at each other, thinking the shoes were probably once repaired, but then lost over the 10 years.

Then the repairman returned. “They’ll be ready on Wednesday,”he said. (1) LOL!

Banana Sippper by Kobi Lev

And I can’t resist this one…

Question: What do you call shoes made from banana skin?

Answer:  Slippers! (2) 

One of my Facebook friends and fellow-bloggers, Lisa Burkholder Keck, wrote about God’s watchful concern for us in her delightful post about some special shoes. I want to share her story with you.

Lisa begins with a scripture that makes us think: For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.  (Proverbs 5:21, NLT)

“Bye, Will. Have a good day at school,” I called out as my eighth grader got out of the car. I pulled away from the curb and merged into the line of cars waiting to leave the parking lot where the drop-off area was. As I waited at the stop sign, I saw Madi crossing the street. I’ve watched her grow up. Our families used to go to church together.

I said a little prayer of blessing as she passed. Then I noticed her shoes. They were cute!

“She has the cutest shoes,” I thought. 

Driving down the street, I remembered the bells. More accurately, I remembered Mom and her friend Janell talking about the bells on their children’s shoes.

I represent one-fourth of those eight tiny feet that jingled as they walked. Like Mom, Janell is also blind, and the bells were their way of knowing where their children were. I don’t remember wearing bells on my shoes, so it must have been a toddler thing.

I wonder whether Mom missed the sound of the bells when it was time to take them off. I guess she would be as nostalgic about her children’s younger years as any other mother.

As I grew, Mom had a new way of keeping track of me. She’d call out my name. When I’d ask what she wanted, she’d say, “Nothing. I just wanted to know where you were.”

That reminds me of the time God called out to Adam in the garden and said, “Where are you?” (see Genesis 3:8-9) God knew very well where Adam was, so why ask? I think He asked so that Adam would realize where he was. Repentance cannot happen if we don’t recognize our sin.

God gave us the Holy Spirit, and—like my mother—He calls out my name. When I ask what He wants, He replies, “I just wanted you to know where you were.”

Bells on rebellious feet are silenced as I fall to my knees and repent. When I stand up, I head in a new direction.

What about you?

God knows where you are, but do you know where you are? Are you walking step in step with Him today? Or, like Lisa, do you need to head in a new direction?

Lisa KeckLisa Burkholder Heck is a wife and mother of one college-aged daughter and a son who is a freshman in high school. She loves seeing how God changes lives, but especially how He lets His light shine out of the dark chapters of life to minister to others.

Lisa has two blogs, Ears in the Cornfield, and When My Father Wakes Up,  which promotes her soon-to-be-self-published memoir, Then Monday Came: The Party’s Over but the Celebration Has Just Begun.

 (1) Adapted from www.jokesclean.com, “Cleaning the Attic”

(2) http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/games/jokes/jokes_galore.htm

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