“I’m gonna die! I’m gonna die! Daddy, we are gonna die!
It had all started out feeling like a good idea. At least for my daddy it was. The sun had just come out after a morning of gentle rain. A rainbow displayed all its glory, showing us how colorful our world is. I remembered hearing how the rainbow is Gods sign and covenant that He made with all living creatures on earth, after the flood in Noah’s days. (Genesis 9)
Daddy asked, “Who is going to take this ride with me?”
Mama says, “Don’t look at me!”
She says, “Maybe Jeannie would want to.” I thought, maybe like Mikey wanted to taste that cereal. Yeah, right!
Now, I have to tell you, Jeannie was me, and I was not in any way feeling brave enough to take that ride. After all, I was only nine years old. I looked upon the old rickety wooden rollercoaster. It appeared to touch the sky. But then I also looked into my daddy’s eyes and I could see the glee and anticipation in them. How could I give up a chance to win his favor, and at the same time, show him what a brave little girl I could be?
So I took my daddy’s hand and walked us into line. My legs were shaking, but I don’t think my daddy noticed. He was fidgeting, and I could tell that the line was not moving up fast enough for him. You would think he was the kid and I was the adult. We tend not to believe our parents were ever a child, but on that particular day, in my minds eye, I saw daddy as a little boy. Looking back now, I realize what a blessing that was.
Finally it was our turn and we were seated and buckled in. The car proceeded to slowly move up and up and up. I looked out over the land and was amazed how far I could see. It was beautiful! There were colors everywhere, just like in God’s rainbow.
Still trapped in thinking this was a good idea, I said, “Daddy, this isn’t scary at all”. No sooner were the words out, when we tipped over the top and rapidly descended straight down. I grabbed my daddy’s pant leg and pulled it clean up to his knee. This brave little girl wasn’t brave anymore! And I surely could not understand why he was laughing.
This was about the time I began my, I’m gonna die chant. I truly thought my life was soon to end. Both of ours! My saving grace was that in the whirlwind of the ride, I saw colors all blended together, much like the rainbow. I clung to God’s promise that He made to every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And from what I could tell, I was living flesh, and still living on earth, even if it was a good portion of a mile in the sky. I knew He wouldn’t let me die, and He didn’t.
Once my feet hit the ground, I ran ahead of daddy so that I could be the first report to mama. I told her how she should have taken the ride and how beautiful and thrilling it was. I told her it was not bad at all. I wasn’t even scared.
Daddy, laughing, inserted, if you weren’t scared, why did you pull my pant leg up to my knee? And why did I hear you scream, “I’m gonna die!”
I answered, “That was before I saw God’s rainbow whiz by. Daddy, He always keeps His promises. And hasn’t He given us a colorful and wonderful world, with all those blues, greens, yellows, browns, blacks and reds?”
Yes Jeannie, let’s go home now.
Daddy and I walked away hand in hand with pleasure, memory, and God’s love, stamped upon our hearts. Mama had a smile, too.
Postscript … It was not long after our adventurous ride on that old rickety rollercoaster, that I heard my mama telling daddy about how they had to ban the ride. Because the wood was old and rotting, it was deemed unsafe and torn down. It made me realize how much God had watched over us that day.
It isn’t often I see a rainbow, but when I do, I remember that day, the beautiful colors, and how God kept daddy and me safe.
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