Riding the Roller Coaster

14 06 2009

Sure life has it’s ups and downs — this is true for everyone, young or old, rich or poor. …  It wasn’t until this morning’s Sunday school lesson (thank you, Tom) that I considered the ups and downs to be constant:  two parallel tracks, representing the good and the bad, bound together on life’s road by railroad ties.  There are days in which we feel on top of the world, and other days when tragedy or illness or suffering plummet our emotions into the deepest valleys.  What we do with those experiences — how we learn from them — is what defines our journey.

The last month and a half have certainly felt like the proverbial roller-coaster ride for the Jenkins family.  In this time frame, we purged, boxed and stored possessions; said good-bye to our much-loved pet of 11 years, as she moved into her new home; and sold our house, officially plunging into our nomadic missionary lifestyle.  It’s been an emotional month, filled with a sense of loss yet the excitement of what is to come — a roller-coaster ride in which we have braced ourselves in the knowledge that “all things work together for good for them that love the Lord.” (Romans 8:28)

Further driving in this point, Dan shared with me a nugget of wisdom he picked up in cross-cultural church-planting training last week: a special message from ReachGlobal/EFCA Senior Vice President Timothy J. Addington, who I have as yet to meet due to the trials he has encountered in the past year with his health.  His message, “When Life Comes Undone,” is a powerful testimony of how God uses trials for our good.  It uplifted me, and I hope it encourages you as you face your “Millennium Force,” or whatever roller coaster life presents.  (This happens to be the one at Cedar Point that intimidated me, despite my enthusiasm for roller coasters.)

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