I could hardly wait for the morning my husband and daughter left town for a daddy-daughter getaway. I secretly planned a trip to Six Flags with our two younger sons. It was a hero gift for my thrill-seeking boys; no doubt, they would consider me a rock star. I wasn’t going to be one of those fraidy-cat mamas, either. I’d ride every ride with them and re-live my own youth, where debilitating fear meant nothing compared to peer pressure.

My bravado lasted all of one ride. In one mighty gust, the Georgia Cyclone blew away every smidgen of courage I had summoned.

Strapped in my seat with the boys safely in front of me, I clenched my eyes shut and started pleading with God before we ever left the station. I have an irrational fear of heights, so prayer is vital. It calms me enough to stave off cardiac arrest.

In this case, however, height wasn’t the problem. I had forgotten the iconic wooden roller coaster would feel like someone beating you with broomsticks and baseball bats. If I lived through it, I was unsure I could ever walk again. Jerked along those tracks at 50mph and dropped five-and-a-half stories at a time, I actually worried who would drive Thomas and Stephen home if their mother became an instant paraplegic.

I could not wait to get off that crazy train. It was the longest 108 seconds of my life. (What a difference twenty years had made!)

I’ve felt that way over the past twelve months or so. While last year started with the best of times for me personally, it quickly devolved into something else entirely. With 2020’s parade of unfortunate events — like a ride on that iconic wooden roller coaster — I just wanted to stop the madness.

And, now, here we are.

At times, I’ve been deeply grieved. This country has felt more like the Divided States of America, and hearts have become cauldrons of hostility, a dangerous brew of rage and rights. The consequences have brought daily headlines that stir fear, anxiety, and anger.

And as we continue to wrestle, I hope we can remember that we are a people with hope! The good news of the gospel is greater than any bad news of the day. 

Isn’t it heartening to think about the word gospel? God knew the state of the world we’d be born into, and He offered exactly what was desperately needed: good news.

That good news arrived in human form when God gave us the gift of Himself. In His incarnation, through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we’re given a life-giving, peace-yielding message of hope.

Keep reading at (in)courage for the rest of The Good News of God’s Love.

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