Some people LOVE roller coasters. They stand in long lines waiting to climb aboard. They crave the thrill of the ride –the anticipation as the car climbs that first long hill, the adrenaline rush as they reach the top of the track and then that racing straight down feeling, everything out of control and crazy.
Personally, I prefer a more sedate way to get my jollies….like bird watching or Christian historical fiction or an Amir Tsarfati spy thriller.
And maybe it’s my old age. And maybe it’s the history of emotional roller coasters from all those years of riding the crazy cycle of abuse. The harsh ups and downs of life, the sharp corners, the unexpected drops to below sea level, the love-bombing that feels kind of nice and hopeful, but then the inevitable happens, and we realize the eventual outcome is just another ride on the sickening roller coaster.
It is true that God gave us our emotions and that Jesus Himself had normal “negative” emotions when He walked our dusty trails. We call them “negative”, but if the Savior of the world felt them, are they truly “negative”?
He felt indignation at the unbelief around him. He expressed righteous anger! He felt sorrow for the pain and lostness of folks he encountered. His compassion for the fainting, harassed crowds who had no shepherd to guide them was described as turning his stomach, twisting His loving heart.
His great love and His emotions continue today. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, even as we feel the queasiness of our own emotions. We feel real fear, real grief, real anger, real shame. Is that normal? Is it okay? Are Christ-followers allowed to feel emotions other than joy and peace?
I am so thankful that God created me with emotions. That means it IS okay to feel afraid, sad, mad AND glad. He understands shame because of what He experienced on the cross. He took all of my guilt on His strong shoulders. He understands.
Life can be so hard and especially these days when it seems that lawlessness is running rampant, even in our homes. Everything feels out of control. Where is the peace?
Our peace is still found in the person, the power and the presence of Jesus Christ. He will never leave us to stew alone in our emotions. Even when the roller coaster is going full speed ahead, Jesus is there on the ride with us. You can hold His hand and know that He will never let you go. His love is strong. He is faithful and won’t jump out of the roller coaster at the critical bend in the ride. You are safe in His everlasting arms.
“…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7