When the boys were little we took them to Tweetsie Railroad up near Blowing Rock; it's a theme park in the mountains with an Old West Theme. I had gone there when I was little and wanted them to experience what I had.
One of the first things we did was ride the Ferris Wheel. When the three of us got on (Stacey sat this one out) we started out with a somewhat pleasant ride - up and around with great views of the mountains. It was right before the shift change though and when the replacement staff worker showed up, he and the current operator started what turned out to be a long conversation. They forgot about us, and we were stuck on the ride. There was no one else on the ride and try as we could they weren't noticing us. It went from fun to "it's time to get off of here" to "We went off right now." We yelled at them - tried to get Stacey's attention, nothing worked. It wasn't forever but it sure felt like it before they finally stopped the ride and let us off. I haven't been on a Ferris Wheel since.
Right now life feels a bit like that Ferris Wheel with Covid-19. Most of us are ready to get off this ride and begin life again. We want it to be over, but it keeps going. We are on a journey that we want to end.
This is much more than a ride though. It has real consequences and real effects. It is a time of real conflict.
I saw this quote the other day...."Through great conflict, great stories are written." It helps me to think of this journey we are on as an opportunity for great stories to be written. Great conflict can bring out the best in us if we approach it with the right attitude. There is no reason we have to live as though we are already defeated. As long as we are following Jesus, there is hope and there is possibility. He can strengthen us for the journey. He can bring us through to the other side. He can help us experience victory along the way. Though Him we are more than over comers.
When God was about to lead the Israelites to and then through the Promised Land, He stopped them to let them know something they would need for the journey. He gave Moses these words to say...
"Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” - Deuteronomy 31:8
The Lord promised to personally go before them. I believe He is doing that for us today. He is going before us through Covid-19. He will not fail us nor abandon us. He has already seen the outcome and we can trust Him to lead us through.
There is a story to be written of how you went through this time. It may last for a while longer but there is a great opportunity for you to be part of a great story of what God did to bring you through. The story is being written every day.
It may be a story of great triumph. Some will have those kind of stories. Some will experience a story of endurance. Some will experience loss and hardship but even those experiences can produce great stories of perseverance and victory.
For most of us, we wish these days were never upon us. We want the Ferris Wheel to stop going round and round. We're ready to get off. But it is in the daily struggle to move forward by faith that we get to see God at work and to experience His faithfulness and goodness. This is where our faith is tested and we can come out stronger. This is where we can see what we truly believe and this is where we can truly see God.
"Through great conflict, great stories are written." May the story of your life be written in the midst of overcoming great conflict and may you experience God's faithfulness as He goes before you - so don't be afraid or discouraged. He is with you.