Two years ago, one of our sons and his family came up to see us. It was so good to spend quality time with his family. We dedicated an entire day to visiting Silverwood, one of the largest theme parks in the Northwest. It was quite challenging to run from one ride to another in 105-degree heat. To keep up with my son and to make an impression on my grandchildren, I went on some rides that are better left to those without height or trust issues or that contend with arthritis problems.

I should have paid more attention to the advertisement that read: “Raging roller coaster rides that are for the insane.” Rides like Tremors and Timber Terror go up steep inclines only to dump you back down to earth at 65 mph. Real fun if you’re half-crazy!

I visited both my chiropractor and massage therapist the following week. I made sure to journal into my diary, that I will never go on rides like that again. I trust in things like the sun rising every day, shooting an accurate arrow at a mad bison, that my loyal dog will retrieve a bird, and most of all – the power of God. I don’t trust man-made wooden roller coasters that are held together with a bunch of nuts and bolts.

In 1 Samuel 14:6-10 we find an interesting story about the power of God over some interesting circumstances. Jonathan was the son of King Saul and a great friend and ally of David, son of Jesse. In part because of Jonathan’s loyalty and encouragement, David went on to become King of Israel.

The story in this section of Scripture reveals that Jonathan was a great man of faith, in his own right. He believed that whatever God called him to do was possible. When God asked him to take one man beside himself and confront an entire army, Jonathan didn’t hesitate to do what God told him to do. Jonathan and his armor-bearer looked to God for guidance and deliverance. “That (the challenge of the Philistines) will be the Lord’s sign that he will help us defeat them.” (vs. 9-10).

These two men took on the impossible – an entire army of giants. With God’s power and might they helped destroy the army. Jonathan won a great victory for Israel. Even though his jealous dad wanted to kill his own son for attempting such a feat without his knowledge, the crowd and God would not allow “one hair on Jonathan’s head to be touched”.

Jonathan was right to do what he did and to trust in God for victory. With each step of faith, he followed what he believed was God’s guidance, and he found the strength to do what was required. Jonathan took action and relied on God for wisdom and power. It is not the strength that you find in yourself that carries you through the challenges, difficulties, and circumstances of life. Instead, it is the strength of God’s presence that enables us to face the giants (Philistines) in our life and accomplish amazing things.

Like riding a roller coaster, sometimes when life is a great challenge we should just close our eyes in prayer and trust that God will bring us through it. Life brings us all kinds of “wild and unplanned rides.” “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Have a great week! Stay off those roller coasters.

Personal Application:

  1. Why does God want us to trust Him? What is it that God can’t do?
  2. What are some of the Giants you are facing? Have you taken them to God?
  3. Did you know that among the qualities we see in God are: He is an Advocate 1 John 2:1; He is sovereign Jer. 32:17; He is gracious and compassionate Ps. 145:8; He is faithful 2 Thes. 3:3; He is our fortress and shield Ps. 144:2
  4. Who do you know right now that could be encouraged to place their trust in God? Why not send him or her this devotional?

Jim Grassi, D. Min.