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Daily Devotion

The Roller Coaster

By Gene Markland

What great amusement park doesn't have an exciting and intimidating Roller Coaster as its centerpiece of entertainment? I've ridden my share, although lately I find myself sitting on a bench holding the bags as my wife and daughter explore the thrills of the ride.

I too enjoy the beginning of the ride, slowly and deliberately ascending the heights, only to find myself looking down from the top into the drop. Yes, the drop…a seemingly endless abyss that leaves my stomach in my throat, only to be relieved by a corkscrew turn or an upside down flip. It just makes me so very happy when it's over!

There are times in our lives that parallel the roller coaster. On the day that the first book I authored was released, I felt on top of the world. Friends were congratulating me, and buying copies. I experienced satisfaction bordering on euphoria as the longtime coming goal had been achieved. I was on top.

Then the phone rang. My daughter was calling to tell me that my wife had been the victim of an automobile accident. She was in the hospital emergency room with back and neck pain. Suddenly I was looking down at the drop, that abyss of uncertainty and fear. I plummeted downward as those same friends began to pray. All I could think about was Martha in a hospital four hours from home.

My world went out of focus as my fear came into focus! Immediately I knew that the Lord Jesus was with me as I began to plummet. Together we hit the bottom of the drop, went through the corkscrew and did the loop where my world was upside down. Though I had no control over the ride, Jesus held my hand tightly and rode it with me. And He did more than that. He answered the prayers of my friends and family as the Doctors attended her.

He touched my wife in that emergency room. Though she entered on a gurney completely strapped down and immobilized from head to toe, She walked out of the hospital the same day with only minor soreness, and completely recovered.

God promises us in His Holy Word to be with us in the ups and downs of life. The Bible says, "So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you" (Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT).

So we should not fear. We should offer thanks to the Lord our God who walks with us on the mountain and in the valley, in the darkness and in the light. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done" (Philippians 4:6).

This season may be one where you are on a peaceful ascent on a bright sunny day, or you may be looking down at the drop. Wherever you are on life's roller coaster, know that Jesus is in that seat beside you. You are not riding alone.

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Gene is a Ministry Coach at CBN. He resides in Virginia Beach with his wife Martha and daughter Laura. Send Gene your comments. Gene blogs at

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