Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Surviving the Roller Coaster of Life

“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. (II Timothy 2:11-13 NIV)

It is that time on our campus.  Gone are the carefree days of the first week or two of the semester.  Students are stressed and tired.  Like a rollercoaster, they started the semester on top, but as the weeks have passed and the assignments have mounted, they find themselves plunging into a valley.  Last week’s Fall Break was a welcome respite bringing refreshment, but now they are back to the grind.  

Apart from school, life is like that.  We have our moments of great energy and motivation, but then they are followed by a plunge into a valley where we struggle and are stressed.  For the most part, this is the course of life, and of the faith journey.  Up and down.  

The challenge for us is to not to define our lives by the moment in which we find ourselves.  We can revel in the highs, but should never assume we will remain there.  And we can dislike the lows, but can be confident we will once again ascend to greater heights.  This is living a life of endurance.  As has often been said, life is a marathon, not a sprint.  Good times will come and go, bad times as well.  Our lives should never be defined by the moment.  

Faith in and faithfulness to the Lord are what carry us through the ups and downs of life.  But even then, sometimes our faith may not be enough to sustain us.  Our faith may just run dry.  It is at that moment we have a choice: we can disown the Lord, saying He is not worth all the trouble, or we can just keep on trudging along, one foot in front of the other, allowing the Lord’s faithfulness to push us along.  “If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.”  What a promise!  And what a relief!

When I come to the end of myself, to the end of my faith, the Lord is there to carry me.  It doesn’t all depend on me.  As long as I don’t give up to the point of disowning Him, He will remain faithful even when I have lost faith. And, thus, that gift allows me time to regain my faith and keeps me from having that momentary loss of faith define my entire life.

Today, remember life is very much like a rollercoaster, and when you plunge to depths far greater than your faith, the Lord will be there to lift you back up.  

© Jim Musser 2012

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