Sunday, October 6, 2013

Roller Coasters and Restraining Our Inner Veruca Salt

Psalms 138:8
The Lord will work out His plans for my life- for your faithful love,  O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for You made me.

Life happens.  It has ups and downs, twists and turns, and sometimes flips us upside down.  It sounds like a roller coaster ride doesn’t it?  Just like on a roller coaster, no matter how nervous you are before you start, and how you might think “Why am I doing this?” during the ride, it always comes to a stop and most of the time, you’re glad you did it.  Sure, you might throw up, but most of the time people are all smiles when it’s over and that experience makes it easier to do it again when the opportunity arises.

When life starts to feel like a roller coaster ride that we don’t want to be on, how do we respond?  Are we humble enough to ask God to show us what the purpose of this is, asking Him for guidance and totally trusting Him, or do we channel Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory demanding that we get exactly what we want, pointing out anything that varies from what we want, and expecting the results we want to be done NOW? Veruca’s father spoiled her and met her every demand, which was what turned her into such a brat.  Our Heavenly Father doesn’t play that game.  He doesn’t make deals.  Doesn’t it sound ridiculous to say, “But, Heavenly Father, I want this now!”?  And what happens when He doesn’t respond immediately?
  • ·         We might react by running to anyone who will listen to us express our situation, and asking for advice.
  • ·         We might retreat like a rabbit to its hole feeling overwhelmed and out of control.
  • ·         We might give in to feeling depressed and begin taking frustrations out on others with outbursts.
  • ·         We might exemplify Veruca Salt herself and just plain pout.

Romans 8:28 tells us that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.  Did you catch the end of that verse? “His purpose for them”? His purpose for our life might not line up with our plans.  Do you live knowing that no matter what comes up, God will never abandon you and that He will continue to love you?  It’s difficult to see the top of a mountain when we are in the valley, but our eyes need to continue looking up, because that is where the answer is.  A storm might have put you in that valley, but you can’t fear the storm because our Father walks on water.  He may not be instigating whatever is happening in or around us, but He will always constant.  If we trust in Him, and not ourselves, we will be stronger for it in the end. 

Remember, God knows the past, present and future.  He always knows something that you don’t. He knows how and where and why the ride ends.   If He has said “no” to your plans, He isn’t being a mean Father, He must have something better in mind.  Believe that to be truth.  He might be trying to derail you or protect you from further suffering. We always get through the roller coaster rides of life, and when we look back we can see God’s hand and how He was in it all along.

If you know the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then you know that Veruca won a contest and she wasn’t very happy to see that she wasn’t the only winner.  She wanted to be the star of the situation.   

Who has the starring role in your story, you or Jesus?  Let Jesus have the lead role, jump in and hold on!

Passages to Ponder:
James 1:5- If you need wisdom, ask our generous God,  and He will give it to you.  He will not rebuke you for asking.

Proverbs 3:5- Trust in the Lord will all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Philippians 4:6- Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything.  Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.

Contributors:  Kathy Derda, Kim McClure, Marla McDonald and Kristy Tolley

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