I was recently asked to type out my testimony and that is a story I can tell in my sleep. As I started transcribing what I had shared a hundred times before, I realized that the power I was describing- the power that changed my life, broke addictions, and had shown me things that were beyond comprehension- had become just words for me. I was startled. There should never be a point in my life where I am able to recount what God has done for me in a rote and repetitious way. Where is the fire that once consumed me?

For believers, our Christian lives are often like roller coasters.
Stay with me here, this might not be the analogy you are expecting.

When you first strap in there is anticipation- you’re not going anywhere, you’re just happy to be on the ride. Then you start that first climb and you look at your friend next to you with excitement. You reach the top and there’s no turning back. While there are dips and turns along the way, you are expecting them and you know your harness is secure and you’re safe. This wild ride is scary and exhilarating, and more than you could have imagined.

But, as often happens on roller coasters, there comes a spot where you level off. Your car loses momentum and you truck along slowly as you round a bend. Compared to everything that you just saw and experienced, this is just plain boring! Where is the excitement? Where is the fun? Is this it? If this is all there is to the ride now, you don’t even need the harness. Sure you can remember what that harness saw you through back when the ride was really active- it saw you through dips and spins and highs and lows- and it made what may have been otherwise terrifying, fun! But maybe it’s time to take that harness off. After all, you could handle this on your own and it’s a little too restrictive anyways. But on roller coasters, that first slow spot is often a tease. It’s just positioning you for even bigger thrills on the second half of the ride.

Now, what would have happened if you took your harness off early because you didn’t see a need for it in that moment? Obviously, things would not have ended well for you.

Our lives don’t come with a harness, at least not one that we see. However, we are kept safe through the ups and downs by our faith in God. While life has us spinning, we hold fast to him and His Word. We pray and cleave to Him because we know He’s the only way we will get through it. But when life slows back down, how often do we start to shift in our seats and get impatient with the very thing that has kept us safe thus far? When we start to pull away by neglecting to spend time with the Lord, to read and pray, we find ourselves unprepared when the calm ends; when around the next bend is a steep drop.

If I am being honest, I would say I am coming out of a season of calm and coasting. Are you? Are you straining against the harness that you don’t see a need for? Has the fire of your story lost its heat? I have been spending some time with my own story again and tightening my harness back up. I can feel the air shifting and know that there is a wild ride coming and I won’t be able to face it alone.

What can you do today to prepare for the rest of your ride? Where do you need to tighten things?

 

Praying for you,

Summer Shepherd.

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