I swallowed my fears and squared my shoulders.
"I can do this!", I said under my breath with the most gumption I could muster up.
You see, I don't do well with fair or amusement park rides. As a young child, I rode the clanging, metal monsters purely because of peer pressure. Once the attendant strapped my small, fearful frame into the cold seat, I'd sit quietly in terror, often holding my breath until the ride would finally come to an end.
I'm a grown woman now...and I still carry with me the same cautious fear of whirling around in metal contraptions meant for the crazy and fearless crowd. However, on this particular day I was strapped into a metal car with my husband by my side...not to mention, we were on a kiddie coaster.
I screamed and half-way enjoyed this low-impact excursion even while squeezing my hubby's hand tightly. I did it!
Then, peer pressure hit me square in the face. Minutes later, I found myself sitting on a whirly-round-and-round-we-go contraption...without my dear, supportive husband. Here we go! I'm proud to say once the ride started, I lasted a whole minute before my body went into over-ride, shock mode.
As fearless and brave as I might have looked on the inside, my internal processing center was in turmoil. Needless to say, the attendant made a quick end of the ride and I stumbled off sick and undone - and I didn't enjoy one moment of the rest of that day. Let's just say I was miserable! Why?
There are some things I'm not cut out for, no matter how much courage I try to display.
It's the same way in my spiritual life. It's true, I am victorious and can overcome anything...with God by my side. He knows what I can handle and what I'm not quite ready for yet. He also knows that when He stretches me a bit beyond my comfort zone, I grow. He's not content to allow me to coast through on the kiddie rides all my life. I guess I wouldn't want Him to either.
Philippians 1:6 says I can be confident, "that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it..." in His perfect time and way.
I Corinthians 10:13 tells me that God is faithful and "will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able" and He will be and provide the strength we need that we "may be able to bear it."
When we face circumstances and trials which leave us spinning, feeling out of control, and frazzled beyond any sense of direction, we can be sure that we will come through. We have God's promises to hold on to. Yes, one day we will look back at this particular "thrill-ride", which may have taken our breath away for a moment, and be able to testify that we made it. We survived.
While there are some things we consider ourselves "not cut out for" right now, with each and every time we choose to trust in the Lord, to hold to His promises, to keep our hand in His, we are becoming something more. It's not about what we are or our supply of courage, or lack thereof. Rather, it's simply what we are capable of becoming and growing into because of what God is doing in us. His plan is to stretch and prove us beyond our imagination because He has much greater things in store for us than merely kiddie rides. We are His!
Let us hold to the words found in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
My favorite part of any ride is the end. When I can finally take a breath and know it's all over and that I'm safe. God has an expected end for each of us. This ride won't last always, my friend. It came to pass! So, I say to you, and to myself, with as much courage and gusto as I can, WE CAN DO THIS! He knows we can too. With God, all things are possible.