Hebrews 13:5 “… He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”
I was walking through the neighborhood recently one Saturday morning and I came across a scene straight out of a Norman Rockwall painting. A young, lanky father was standing next to his little boy and a shiny red bicycle without any training wheels. The boy appeared to be about 4 or 5 but it was hard to tell because of all his gear. He had a full-size helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and a bright orange vest. He had all of the safety equipment known to man. All he was missing was one of the little alert buttons that he could press and say, “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” And at his size with all the gear he had on, that might not have been a bad option because if he fell, he might not be able to get back up.
Dad carefully explained the safety rules to his son. Never ride alone, stay on the sidewalk, and watch for cars coming in and out of the driveways. Once the lad knew the rules, the time honored tradition of a parent teaching their child how to ride without training wheels began. This tradition typically involves much huffing and puffing on the part of the parent and a few bumps and bruises on the part of the child. Dad started off to one side holding the handle bar with one hand with another hand on the back of the bike seat. After a few wobbly passes up and down the sidewalk, the father loosened his hold on the handlebar and maintained only a light grip on the back of the seat. When the bike started to wobble again the boy noticed his dad’s hands were not on the handlebar and he became worried. His father reassured him by saying, “I’m right beside you son.” As his son gained more skill and dexterity, dad reached the point where eventually he was simply jogging behind his son. It was about this time that the boy exclaimed in an excited voice, “Look Dad, I’m riding a bike all by myself!”
I was almost as excited as that little boy. It is such a blessing to see kids learn new things and enjoy new experiences. But as excited as that little boy was, I knew that he was not riding that bike all by himself. His father was still jogging behind him; close enough that he could reach out and grab his son and prevent him from riding off the sidewalk and into the street. His father was right there if his child needed him.
As that thought crossed my mind, I had to smile. It has been that way for me in my life. Not just with my own father teaching me how to ride a bike but also with my heavenly father. There have been times when I have distinctly noticed the presence of His hand guiding and directing me. He has redirected my course when the bike started to wobble and I was about to get off track. There have been times when the ride has been fast and sweet and I have been joyously caught up in the moment and thought, “I’m doing this all by myself!” There have been other times when I have had that same thought of being on a ride all by myself and it was not an expression of excitement but rather an expression of worry and dismay. Those were times when I have wondered where my Father is, and when I have called out in my fear and worry He has always answered me, “I’m right beside you son.” Our Lord has promised to always be with right there with us. He has promised never to abandon us; even in those times when He has to pick us up and dust us off and set us back on our path. “I’m right beside you son. I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Those are such beautiful words to hear. He has always been with me. He has never left me nor forsaken me. I have never been riding alone.
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