I’m not a big fan of roller-coasters. Too much holding your breath and hanging on tight on the way up. Too much sick-to-your stomach terror on the way down. I avoid them whenever I can. At the parks and in life.
Maybe you’ve noticed. This story I’m telling tends to be a bit up and down. Highlights one week and requests for prayer the next. In truth the ups and downs usually happen within a day, and it depends on the day how I’ll tell the story.
This week was both. Up and down. Boys digging in heals over church. Conversation, genuine and easy. A stomach bug and two more days of missed school. Fresh snow for snowboards. Best and worst games of the basketball season. A tie in soccer. Battles in the morning and laughter at bedtime.
And three whole days of work files somehow deleted from an entire company during the busiest season of the year, and there never seems to be a break for dear old Dad. Ugh.
On the heals of every victory there’s another battle. Every day a reminder this war’s not over. Not yet. But earlier this week I heard something helpful and I’ve been repeating it now for several days. We live in an unshakable Kingdom. Wow. A reminder I needed.
Our own little kingdom is given to quaking. Tossing and turning like an amusement park ride. When we live in this realm we roll with the waves and we lose our stomachs. We’ve been there. We know.
But what a relief to remember. Our real Kingdom. Unshaken.
This morning Kyle quoted Psalm 46 at breakfast. Boys with phones following along and buzzing him loud at the smallest mistake. (And it struck me this might be better than church.)
God is our refuge and strength…
He’s been memorizing while walking his puppy.
There’s a line in the Psalm about God burning shields with fire, and this morning Kyle used that phrase to pray. God melt this armor around hearts of boys.
Tomorrow is Sunday. Often, but not always, our biggest battle. (Kyle mostly since I leave early for church.) And it’s really no Sabbath for the Dad of this brood, who holds his breath as he wakes up boys. Dreading and hoping.
We talked this morning (after the prayer about armor) about the ups and downs of this ride that’s our life. And the conclusion we came to is the ride’s always better when we let go and enjoy it. Not gripping and dreading, but hands in the air and face to the wind. Screaming loud with delight.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)