Scripture Reading: Romans 8:26-39, Psalm 44:17-22, Philippians 1:6, 2 Thessalonians 2:14
I hope your summer fun list includes a trip to an amusement park or two. Nothing gets the blood pumping quite like circling a track at 100 miles per hour while simultaneously crying, laughing, and screaming. That’s good stuff.
But before you fill the water bottles and load the kids into the minivan for a day of sweltering, screaming fun, I need to let you in on a secret your brain already knows.
It starts with a feeling sociologists call “museum feet.” It’s a phenomenon our brains experience when we’re in a big space like an amusement park or a museum. It’s a general sense of being lost or exhausted that comes from hanging out in such a large space.
“Museum feet” could give park-goers a bad experience, causing them to leave the park and not return. But architects have learned that if they include a large visual landmark, we’re less likely to become overwhelmed. They’re looking out for us, and their bottom line, by ensuring we’re willing to stay on the grounds long enough to fork over the cash for overpriced lemonade and nachos.
Think about it: Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World. Spaceship Earth at Epcot Center. The 150-foot “Big Wheel” Ferris wheel at Six Flags. Each offers their own brand of fun, sure, but they also give a reference point to come back to, something to focus on when we feel overwhelmed, overtired, or just over it.
Paul never made it to Disney World, but he must’ve known a thing or two about feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or disoriented. Here, in Romans chapter 8, he shoots up a flare of truth for the believer to come back to every time we feel the same.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
If this is one of those feel-good verses that’s become so familiar you’re tempted to race past it—STOP. This is the mother lode, friends! If God can use all things for our good and His glory, nothing can knock us off kilter. He makes us sure-footed. It’s the kind of steady posture that caused Paul to restate the truth of Romans 8:28 for the church in Philippi.
I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).
Paul is describing the process of redemption—that supernatural metamorphosis whereby God makes all things new. Paul was so anchored in the gospel that no wind could capsize him. That’s not new news, but this may be: the steadiness of Paul is possible for us too.
God’s promise in Romans 8:28 means He’s already at work, reshaping everything for our good. Tribulation, persecution, famine—God can redeem all of these and more (v.35). Nothing can stop the redemption process (vv.38-39). Not death, not life, not angels or rulers. Not this moment or all the tomorrows to come. Nothing can stop God from working all things for good—not even you.
Life is big. It’s easy to feel lost or overwhelmed or like we want off the ride, but God’s truth anchors us against museum feet. The story of redemption gives us a point to come back to when we feel alone or afraid. The next time you feel overwhelmed, overtired, or just plain over it, look up. The same cross that steadied Paul in the face of unthinkable trials will steady you.
Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.