Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Solid Rock"1 (Lyrics)

I've never been one to enjoy wild rides at the exhibition! No! No roller coasters for me! Watching others was enough to make my stomach churn! In high school, track and field wasn't a favourite either, especially the hurdles! No, I preferred — and still do prefer — to keep my feet securely planted on the solid ground.

Scripture reminds us that in this life, there will be troubles. I would say that the past few weeks have qualified as "troubles"! Having decided that it was time to downsize and buy a condo meant the need to sell the home that Bob and I had bought new in 1972. Talk about an emotional roller coaster! Purging in order to make the house presentable for showings was one of the first hurdles. Ugh! I had no idea how cluttered my place was with family pictures everywhere from throughout the past 52 years. So many treasures with fond memories had to be removed. Another bump in the road of life had the next signpost: Reality Check! You can't take everything with you to a condo!

Matthew 6:19a,21 – Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NIV)

As I struggled through the process with many a tear, I needed to deal with the various items that were so special to both of us! It would be different if I were facing my death today, as I know that I won't want or need these earthly mementos, which are so precious to me here, when I'm with the Lord, face to face.

Even though I knew that the Lord had guided me to make this move, it didn't mean that it was easy sailing or a smooth road. As I navigated the bumps, I called on Him for strength. Up the hill I'd climb as excitement would build, and then — whoosh — down the roller coaster, as I faced more challenges.

As the countdown continues and the piles of boxes increase, I have a strange calmness. I know that the Lord really is in control, and as I depend on Him, my roller coaster is turning into more of a Tilt-A-Whirl™, the one ride that I used to enjoy! Its curved shape surrounding the riders reminds me of God holding me in the palm of His great hand. I am secure and held by Him, even though my world still spins and twirls up and down from time to time. I can trust Him and depend on Him.

May each of us remember that He holds the whole world in His hands, so we need not fear the unknown road ahead!

The old hymn, On Christ the solid Rock I stand, is as true today as ever. He is the sure and solid footing — no matter what troubles come our way. He is indeed the way to survive and thrive!

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we come before You in awe of who You are, for in spite of our shortcomings and weaknesses, Christ died for each of us and rose again to give us life abundant and forever. Help us to seek Your face, to reach out and grasp Your hand that is reaching out to help us, protect us, and shelter us, especially when our world seems to be out of control like a roller coaster, and putting hurdles in our path. Thank You for surrounding us like the Tilt-A-Whirl™, protecting us in the shelter of Your mighty yet gentle hand. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Mary Lou Tompkins <>
Lindsay, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Beautiful prayer.

    Thank you for the great visuals. Your words are so true.

    Thank you for the imagery… been on a few roller coasters myself!

    So true, Mary Lou. Thanks, and may God continue to bless in your journey!

    Well said, Mary Lou! Made me giddy just reading and remembering! Great analogy. Helps me.

    I could have written this, Mary Lou. Even down to the dollar coaster and Tilt a Whirl. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Thank you, Mary Lou, for a wonderful devotion today. Many seniors will be able to identify with this traumatic exercise of moving.

    I know what you mean Mary Lou. We recently downsized from two homes into one after twenty years of moving from one Pastoral Charge to another. Very painful for my wife! Blessings.

    Oh, Mary Lou, can I ever relate to your devotional… and keeping both feet on terra firma! “Thrill rides” have never thrilled me. More sedate activities, like reading a devotional, are much preferred. Thank you for sharing this one with us. Blessings.

    So well said, Mary Lou. You are in a situation that many readers of this devotional are now or have been or soon will be. Thank you for putting into words what many feel.

    Good Morning
    Thank you for this lovely email. I look forward to these daily devotionals every day.
    May God bless you and your family and keep you safe during these trying times.

    Dear Mary Lou,
    Thank you so much for your beautifully written, inspiring message. It really touched me. Your devotional is one very close to me as my husband and I are in the same place.
    Blessings and Appreciation.

    Thank you, Mary Lou, for this comforting devotional. After 30 some moves, I have been on the coaster ride often! Thankfully, God has always had an exciting and purposeful new adventure waiting just around the next corner.
    May the Holy Spirit continue to inspire your writing and blessing your readers!

    I can resonate with her thoughts. As we were packing to move to Ontario, meeting with the transitional team on zoom and the nervousness as I was preparing for the call to preach, yet amidst all this, there was calmness that God was in control. God still is in control, guiding me and assuring me each day!

    Hi Mary Lou,
    At Robin’s suggestion, I am discovering as I write that I can send an “Encourage the Writer” response through my smartphone, but not via my computer. Good to know that the devices work differently! Now I’ll know for the future. (Thanks, Robin!)

    Hello Mary Lou
    Wow, you are going through what I went through last summer – roller coaster experience big time. Thank goodness God is there to help us go through life and the peace only He can give to reassure us we are on the right path with Him.
    God bless and may He continue to be with all aspects of your move.

    Dear Mary-Lou,
    Thank you for this devotional today and oh, how I can relate with you about downsizing. I know the day will come when I must minimize the possessions here that consist of family heirlooms and items treasured by my deceased husband. I must get strict with myself and remember the greatest treasure in life to keep is the love and care I receive from my loving Jesus. Truly there is nothing so precious as the peace and contentment freely given to us when we seek Him and follow His guidance in our life.
    Blessings for your writings and may you get joyfully settled in your new residence.

    Good morning Mary Lou,
    I am just like you and do not like wild rides at all. I didn’t really want to go on any rides but to please friends and family that was not always possible.
    We are just selling my brother’s home and his children have had the chore of sorting through a lifetime of memories aa they have lost both their parents in the last few years.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences and reminding us what is truly important is our faith and remembering that God is holding us, and we can trust in Him as we face the challenges of life. May you have many blessings and some of your treasures find loving homes.

    Mary Lou,
    Thank you for these good reminders so well expressed. I have recently observed a relative experiencing similar feelings as she moved from her home of 40 years into a 1 bdrm. apartment, now as a widow. She too found comfort in knowing the Lord was leading and supporting during the swirls of decisions and paperwork and physical sorting, discarding, and leaving the area.
    God is faithful and moves us on to where He wants us to be a blessing to others. I am currently with my dear husband in the home we’ve lived in 50 years. So the time will arrive soon for changes for us. I will recall your writing when that time arrives.
    Thank you.

    Hello Mary Lou. Do I ever relate. I was raised a preacher’s kid and moved 3-4 years. After I w married, my husband was called to ministry and years of studies, more moves. My collecting didn’t really begin until after he retired. How about 22 years!!! I had a collection of mugs when we began to downsize to a smaller house in another town. I let some mugs go but began seriously collecting other things that have deeply spiritual meanings. We then moved to a retirement complex. Each move was making those give it up decisions. We have to make sure that we store what is expected of us to do in Heaven.
    I look forward every day for the devotionals making new friends. You are a gifted writer and will look forward to your next one. God bless you.

    Hello Mary Lou:
    I enjoyed your writing today and can relate in many ways. Just one year ago the love of my life went to his Heavenly home. I am not going to be able to stay in our home and know God will lead me. As yet He has not shown where for sure but to get at downsizing so things will be in order whenever known. I have given away or sold numerous items. At present I am going through photos for the second time, recycling frames, re-arranging some others, and shedding many little tears along the way.
    Last week, I was having a very difficult day when suddenly I had the most calming feeling come over me then sometime later realized I was feeling much stronger. I feel so Blessed to have my God beside me and helping me through it all.
    Your message today was most uplifting for me. Thank you for it and may your move to the condo prove a wonderful new chapter on your path through life.

    Thank you, Mary Lou. If only we could get everyone off the roller coaster.

    Good morning Mary Lou,
    There are several things I can relate to, namely roller coasters and the like contraptions, I never have been on one, I have a tremendous fear of heights. And also downsizing, we moved out of our fairly big house to a small bungalow some 7 1/2 years ago, We had to get rid of much stuff, it did not bother my wife, but it did me. And finally, we are assured that God is with us during these difficult times.
    Thank you for writing.

    What a challenge! I find it very hard to give up mementos and we have accumulated much in the many years we have been in our home.
    I wish you strength for this monumental task!

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