February 6, 2022

Day 7: Roller Coasters Stink

Read Psalms 12-13

The title of this devotional leaves no question about my opinion of roller coasters. Not a fan. Never been a fan. Unfortunately, I have a family that happens to love them. Guess what that means? We go to amusement parks. I pay way too much to be terrorized on a metal train of death. What's wrong with this picture? Actually, I'm not being totally honest. I don't actually get on the rides. I hang out with my mother-in-law who also sees the wisdom of not getting on those ridiculous rides. Or if she's not there, I ride the kid's rides with my youngest child and any small niece or nephew that may be with us. We eat lots of "Elephant Ears" and "Dippin' Dots", and agree not to tell their moms. The only saving grace of an amusement park is if they have a water park included. Those I can do. Something about the safety of water.

You know, life can feel like a roller coaster ride. Sometimes you're up, and all of a sudden you're down. You're going along and then a sudden jerk takes your path in a whole other direction. Psalms is a book where we see the roller coaster of life on full display in the writer's lives. One psalm is full of joy and encouragement, and then the next psalm is filled with lament. But that's life this side of heaven and there's a lot we can learn from them. Because the one constant is the character of God.

Psalm 12-13 are great examples of this. In the first five verses of Psalm 12 we hear the plea of a man who's experiencing the frustration of sinfulness all around him. But then in v. 6 he says, "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times". David reminds himself, and us, that God is pure and His words can be fully trusted. And so towards the end of the psalm David is upbeat when he proclaims in v. 6, "You, O LORD, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever." Great, right? Well, then you start reading chapter 13 and it's back to the problems in the world. He even tells God He's not really listening to him. But in wrestling with God, it brings him back up again and he ends with a hopeful song of praise in vs. 5-6: "But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me." What a great reminder this roller coaster ride in chapters 12-13 gives to us. It's ok to bring our cares and concerns to God. We just can't live there though. We have to lean into who God is when we don't understand what He is doing. David reminds us who God is. He is true to His word, His love is steadfast, He will be faithful to save, and He blesses us beyond what we deserve. It's a fact, life will be a roller coaster until Jesus returns. But we can find joy in the ride when we hold onto a God who is perfectly consistent to His character.

Are you finding balance in your prayer life between offering up praises for who God is and what He does, and offering up prayers of pain for the difficulties you are facing? God wants to hear and respond to both.

What is one character quality of God you can focus on throughout today?

Prayer for the day: "God, even though life is unpredictable, your character is not. You are good all of the time, all of the time you are good. Thank you for being the one constant in my life that I can depend on no matter what. Help me keep the Evil One from getting a foothold in my life and robbing me of the joy your Son, Jesus came to bring. In Jesus name, amen."

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