Stop the World! I want to get off!
Ferris wheels are definitely not my favorite. The extreme heights, the windy conditions, and the slowly rocking seats make for an unsettling experience. Does your life feel like a Ferris wheel? Unsettling. Rocking to and fro. Swaying at the mercy of the swirling winds? The difference between the turbulent life common to a fallen world and the unsettling experience of a Ferris wheel is obvious. Eventually, the Ferris wheel will finish its cycle and riders will exit at the ground once again. The world, on the other hand, does not stop. While there are ways to ease our turbulent circumstances, calm the swirling winds, and slow down the wheel of life, there is no way to stop it. As long as we tread this fallen ground, we will suffer some measure of its trouble. So the question we must ask is not “how do we escape?” The question to ask is, “how do we endure?”
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” Herein lays the answer to one of the fundamental questions of life. How do we endure life in a hectic, fallen world? There is only one way: through the enabling grace of Christ. No one else has the power or providence to overcome this world. Through His life, death, resurrection, and ongoing work of redemption, Jesus offers us His enduring love. He is the King of endurance. The author of Hebrews reminded us that Jesus endured the cross with joy and that Jesus was tempted in every way as we are, and yet was without sin. Jesus Christ is the perfect Lord and King. He rules and reigns over this Ferris wheel world, with ease and wisdom. It is by no accident that God has allowed this world, even after the cross, to remain in a measure of disarray. He is at work in the chaos and confusion.
As a result, the author of Hebrews exhorts us to approach His throne of grace with confidence so that we may find grace for our every need (Hebrews 4:14-16). Grace is more than just the unmerited favor that initially woos people to Jesus. Grace is also the unmerited, ongoing help that holds us together. It is because of this ongoing help – this enabling grace – that we do not lose hope, even when we feel like life is just an unending Ferris wheel ride. No matter how the wind swirls or how high the wheel rises or how wildly the seats rock, His grace is sufficient for our every need. This is not just pie in the sky theology. This is real. His grace is enough. When life seems to spin out of control and we are left longing for escape, we must return to the faithful providence of God to sustain us. We must recall that the Lord of glory has entered our world. He rules our world. And He is at work for our good. Approach His throne of grace with confidence. Lean wholly on His shepherding might. And find your hope, identity, and endurance in the One who has overcome the world.
Rush Witt belongs to a church planting team in Columbus, Ohio. Paramount Church is focused on making the Gospel paramount and is committed to the role of biblical counseling in the local church. He is married to Kathryn and father to four amazing children.