Life's Unstable Moments

November 10, 2012
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I've never liked them and have only ridden a couple, and then, only because someone I loved encouraged me.

With names like Thunder Road, Mindbender, Avalanche Run, and Afterburn, roller coasters frighten me. In fact, almost all rides at fairs and amusement parks send my stomach reeling, and for that reason, I've made a lifetime habit of avoiding most of them — roller coasters particularly. Sudden starts and steep drops, turning upside down and fast speeds make me uneasy.

Yet, I've discovered that my life is not much different than what I despise about rides. I move forward only to be thrust backwards. My mountains of joy and peace are interrupted by valleys of doubt, despair, and tragedy. Life can be unexpectedly flipped upside-down without warning.

Jesus may have been God's Son, but this didn't remove instability from His short life either. He listened to news of the murder of His cousin and good friend John. He multiplied fish and bread and fed many who misunderstood Him and who would later call for His death. Shortly thereafter, He had to resurrect the faith of His closest followers.

Matthew 14:24 – But the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. (NIV)

Jesus sent His followers into the instability of a storm, but He didn't leave them helpless. He went to them, walking on the water. When they cried out thinking that He was a ghost, He assured them that He wasn't and that they need not fear.

Jesus has introduced quite a few instabilities into my life, and, sometimes, I respond like the disciples. I try to handle them myself, attempt to manipulate the circumstances, succumb to fear, and get overwhelmed by anxiety.

Peter was the only one who made the right choice: he went to Jesus. And though his faith faltered, it was pointed in the right direction.

Life will be unstable, but we can choose our response. Fear, worry, and anxiety only intensify the instability. Jesus invites us to come to Him and fear not.

Prayer: Lord, we admit that we don't always respond correctly to our instabilities. Enable us to trust You when life throws us a curve. Amen.

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Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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