Cedar Point. The roller coaster capital of the East.
It’s a beautiful place, really. Rides as far as the eye can see, the smell of elephant ears drifting through the air, hoots and hollers flying from happy coaster passengers. You can’t not love it, right?!
I considered myself a fully experienced coaster enthusiast when I went to this magical place with my youth group in 2013. I’d been to Kings Island. I rode the Son of Beast. That bad boy was torn down because of how dangerous it was. If I could ride that, I could ride anything.
“Why don’t we ease into the roller coasters tomorrow?” I asked the night before as we sat around a table eating chips and salsa. “Ya know, ride the smaller ones first, then work our way up to the big ones. It’s a pretty logical plan.” The girls nodded in agreement. The guys… not so much.
“What no!” They stated. “We’re gonna walk in there and ride the biggest coaster they have!”
Maybe I wasn’t as tough as I thought. This frightened me.
The day of Cedar Point had arrived, and we strutted in through the back entrance like we’d done it a million times.
Facing us was the Magnum XL-200.
It wasn’t just the name that was intimidating. It was the coaster itself. That thing was a monster.
As soon as we stepped through the gate, the guys were eager to climb aboard the crazy coaster with no line. (I keep referring to the guys when crazy things take place. It was never the ladies. No. The ladies were civilized thinkers and they didn’t wish to hop onto the first coaster we saw.)
I turn to my dad, tears welling up in my eyes. “Daddy,” I beg, “Please, can’t we just ride a different one first?” My throat felt like I had swallowed a rock. My hands were shaking.
He chuckled. “It’ll be fine, Brooklyn.”
I begged more. I couldn’t ride that coaster.
“I promise it’ll be okay. I promise.”
I climbed into the seat and shakily buckled my seat belt. I was going to die.
My dad grabbed my right hand and looked at me. I could see in his eyes that he knew for certain everything was going to be okay. He smiled his excited smile and we slowly made our way to the top of the hill. As we shot over the top and swooped down the hill, I went from anxious to ecstatic. This was amazing. My dad was right.
Recently I was thinking of this, and Isaiah 41:13 came to my mind. It says:
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
How sweet is this promise! When we’re going through the roller coaster that is life, we can’t get through it on our own. God helps us. He holds our hand. He asks us not to fear. He is the calm in the storm. He is our protector and friend. He will never leave or forsake us. He loves me. He loves you.
A lot of the time, we think we’ve got it all figured out. But that’s just not the case. Most of us would consider ourselves experienced with what life throws at us, but in reality, we have no idea what’s coming or what’s going to happen. Relying on Christ for our strength is the only thing that’s going to get us through life. We cannot do it without Him.