The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18
Roller coasters. I used to love them. The loopier and faster the better. There was nothing more exciting than the ride all night bracelets at the local carnival. Riding every spinning, dropping, and swinging contraption until the rides were shut down for the night. Nothing like standing in line on a dare to conquer fears on the scariest ride in the amusement park. Anticipating the thrill of what was to come.
Today, I don’t enjoy roller coasters. Yet, I still happen to ride them. These days the roller coasters I get on are of the emotional variety. Still with that same feeling in the pit of my stomach. Still going backwards, upside down, and spinning sideways.
I am a mess. I am a wrecking ball. I must confess that I still don’t get it all.
Yep. That’s me. A mess. A wrecking ball ruled by my emotions. The emotions that resemble a roller coaster ride in my head. And for the most part, I am able to get in line and ride, all while still smiling, and in anticipation of the moment when the ride will end. But, some days, painting on a smile is just too hard. My mood is dark. My emotions get the best of me, and I ride the roller coaster all the way to the bottom. Where I am a mess. Where I just want to cry. Where I find it hard to keep from screaming!
Crying for goodness knows what. And yes, screaming at God. For what he has done and hasn’t done. For not hearing me when I cry out for help. For not providing the answers when I desperately need them.
O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? Psalm 13:1-2
Well, looks like I am in good company. If the Psalms of David are any indication, then it’s likely he was riding the same roller coaster of emotions on which I find myself. Yet, he was a chosen king, a man who as a young boy defeated the largest and toughest giant, a fearless warrior, and an ancestor of Jesus. He was also a man who was hated, who was the object of fierce jealousy. Abandoned. Lonely. Jealous enough in his own spirit to commit murder. An adulterer. A mess.
And still called a man after God’s heart. Despite his tendency to scream at God. Despite his tendency to find himself trapped on a roller coaster of emotions, he pressed on. Because he knew that God could handle every single one of his emotions. Which means He can also handle mine.
Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. Psalm 55:17
Yes, God can handle my roller coaster emotions. He can handle my tears. He can handle my screaming fits. He can handle my uncertainty.
He can provide the strength to press on. Press on when I ride the highs and lows of my feelings. Press on until I finally get off the ride, acknowledge my mess, admit I just don’t get it. He will give me strength to get off my knees, dry my tears, and turn my screams into praises.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me, he drew me out of deep waters. Psalm 18:16
Press on. When you want to cry. When you want to scream. When you just want to be alone. When you just don’t get it.
Press on. During the dark days. When the roller coaster takes a deep plunge. When you just don’t want to smile.
Press on. God can handle it. He will get you through the ride.