We have been trying to encourage my 5 year old daughter to ride her bike without training wheels.
She is completely ready to go. She has her own girly purple bike, not her older brother's hand-me-down. It has white wheels and glitter in the paint. She has a ridiculously bright, rainbow colored helmet. Oh yeah, it is the head of a unicorn, complete with horn and mane. Mom and Dad have both offered to help her. We have a nice stretch of grass for her to learn on so her falls will be cushioned. The scene is set. There is just one problem.
She is scared of falling.
The one time she actually let me work with her a little bit, I could sense that she could figure it out rather quickly. The thing about learning to ride a bike is that it is just something that you have to feel. You cannot tell someone how to balance on the two wheels. She just needs to try it and figure it out for herself.
I told her that she could do it, she was capable, but she would probably fall a few times until she got the hang of it. No good. Not interested. If I will be letting go of the seat, she will not be trying to ride.
Because of her fear, she is missing out on the freedom of riding alone on two wheels. Let's face it, as well-intentioned as training wheels are, you just can't go as fast as you could without them. She has seen the other side too. Her brother whizzes past her every time we go for a ride, even if she has a head start. Still, the fear makes her feel that she is content to make a go of it slowly and safely, with the support of her training wheels.
We adults shake our heads at these nervous little ones. We know that they would have so much more fun if they just gave it a try. But are we any different?
Is there something you feel called to do? Do you sense God leading you in an area, but you are scared to try?
Maybe you feel called to share your faith with your co-worker, but you are too nervous. I mean, what would they think? Would they be insulted?
Maybe you feel led to bring a meal to a friend that is going through a trying time, but you worry about their reaction. Would you be overstepping?
Or maybe there is something big that God wants you to try, but you are too afraid of falling, of failing?
God is our Father. Even though He's in Heaven, He is encouraging us to try. He's cheering us on. He has prepared us. We have been given gifts and talents that we are to use for His glory, to serve others as He calls us. The scene has been set for you. God has called.
There comes a time, though, when we just have to do it. We have to take the training wheels off and go for it.
But even though parents would do anything to keep our children safe, we know that they might fall once we let go. We have to let go, though, so they can experience the freedom and joy of riding on their own.
This is where it's a little different with God (Hallelujah!). We have to take that first step in faith, not knowing what might happen, not knowing if we will fall, but He never leaves us or lets go.
He gives us this promise:
"So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you" Deuteronomy 31:6.
Folks, just like we want our children to experience more, like riding their bike without training wheels, God wants us to experience an abundant life. In serving Him, in stepping out in faith and doing what He calls us to do, we will experience that joy, that excitement, that fulfillment.
I have something I'm nervous to do. I'm afraid of what others might say or think. But God has placed something on my heart. I think I have been training for it my whole life. I think I am as prepared as I can be. It's time. Throw off those slow wheels on either side. It's time to ride off into the wind, pedal my legs fast, and go for it.
I don't know about you, but the hours between 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm at my house are crazy, at best, and chaotic, at worst.
Kids get hungry. I guess I'm the one who has to feed them. The older two manifest hunger in the form of wrestling, jumping off furniture, and running around the house. The baby shows hunger by bawling and clinging to my leg. Cooking used to be something I enjoyed, that relaxed me. It has now become stress-inducing experience, one that leaves my kitchen looking like a bomb went off.
Oh, and then after I manage to feed the hooligans, I have to bathe them and clean up the explosion site. The craziness continues, as it has now switched over to tiredness. There is no relief from these three hours of hectic until the three of them are in bed.
I was standing at my kitchen counter, trying to prepare the evening meal, when it hit me. What I need is some stability. What I need is something calm. What I need is an anchor.
Guess what? We have one! For those in Christ Jesus, we have an anchor.
"Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary" (Hebrews 6:18b-19, emphasis added).
Jesus gives us hope, and that hope is our anchor!
You might be wondering, as I am, what exactly is this hope?
First, Jesus gives us hope of eternal life. When we turn to Jesus for our salvation, we can know that we will go to Heaven when we die. We have the hope of eternal life. Our future is safe, secure, and anchored.
"I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13).
Secondly, we have the hope of LIFE now. We are not meant to live life on this earth as unhappy folks. Jesus came to fill us with abundant life. Turning to Him as our Savior gives us life now. Even when we face trouble, we have the hope that it will pass. Our crazy life can be anchored in the hope that following Jesus will truly satisfy us. We can have joy in the midst of the mess.
"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10, ESV).
"My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life" (John 10:10, NLT).
Finally, and maybe the most important to remember, is that we can be filled with hope because we are never alone. Every situation we face is anchored by God's presence. He never leaves our side. In fact, He's holding us in the very hand that created the entire universe.
"Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand" (Isaiah 41:10).
Here is your strong and trustworthy hope. Here is your anchor.
Definition of Anchor:
2. a reliable or principal support
3. something that serves to hold an object firmly
We have Jesus who is our reliable support. We have our God who holds us firmly. We have an anchor, and He's reliable even between the hours of 5:30 and 8:30!
And now, you know I love music! I couldn't resist posting the lyrics to an old hymn that I grew up singing in my little white church: "We Have an Anchor."
1 Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
will your anchor drift, or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!
2 Will your anchor hold in the straits of fear,
when the breakers roar and the reef is near?
While the surges rave, and the wild winds blow,
shall the angry waves then your bark o'erflow? [Refrain]
3 Will your anchor hold in the floods of death,
when the waters cold chill your latest breath?
On the rising tide you can never fail,
while your anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]
4 Will your eyes behold through the morning light
the city of gold and the harbour bright?
Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore,
when life's storms are past for evermore? [Refrain]
(by Priscilla J. Owens https://hymnary.o
Hi, I'm Kristen! Just a girl who loves all things Jesus, family, music and food!
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