Our Good Father
Do you remember when you were taught to ride a bike?
Or maybe you are a parent, and you have shown your child how to ride.I got one for Christmas one year, and I couldn’t wait to get out there! I had visions of jumping on my shiny new rainbow seat bike and taking off. I pictured myself soaring down the road with the older kids in the neighborhood. My reality was a little different. Growing up in Pittsburgh posed some weather conditions which meant months before my first lesson began. Learning at first involves training wheels. Not precisely super cool to the big kids. When the day finally arrived, and the weather was less sub below zero and more like a balmy 45 degrees. It was on!
My dad was behind me holding onto my rainbow seat bike.
Honestly, I think he was holding on so tightly my little legs were peddling, but that bike was not going anywhere. He was trying to give me instructions, but all I could hear was the wind whipping through my golden-brown hair. Now that the directions were over, it was time. Training wheels intact I start pushing. I tripped a few times. Still, to this day, I start with my right foot up and left on the ground. I even got it.
Then I finally got the rhythm down and there I go! I felt good. I felt confident! (Of course, dad still hanging on and running slightly out of breath behind me)….
Now I have to explain here. If you have never been to Pittsburgh, we had some cold, we had some snow, and we have some of the greatest hills, and windy roads on the planet. (Self-driving cars are tested there because the companies figure if a car can handle the trails there, they can drive anywhere.) Now the street I grew up on was called 9th Ave. It has a hill. To a small child, it is like a mountain to a grown adult it is more like a bump.
Straight and narrow that was the sweet spot!
Not exactly the most adventurous, but it was relatively smooth other than the slight wobbling from the training wheels. Then came the turns. Not quite so soft. I remember a lot of tipping, but dad still in check to keep it from happening. Then it happened, one day my dad let go. I was doing it on my own! I felt free and relaxed. On the straight and narrow.
I remember stopping was a minor issue and there it was. I was running out of street!!!! I had to make the turn or run into Mr. Benson’s house. I turned. I tipped. I hit the cement. Ok. I wasn’t going that fast. I was little. But I did hit the cement. Dad (with the fear and mild panic on his face) Untangled me from my bike and carried me in one arm and the bike in the other back to the house. (Where I believe I was greeted with a band-aid and ice cream by my mom.)
I see my relationship with God a lot like learning to ride a bike.
You look over the years of being a Christian, I have had some false ideas of how that looked. Just like thinking I would instantly speed off into glory with the big kids, it took many, many…many times of practicing. I tripped, stumbled and fell a lot. I even had that one accident that messed me up pretty well as I slid down that bump on 9th Ave. On my face. There was recovery time, and the kids on the block horrified to look at my face. (came in handy at a sleepover when I held a flashlight up to my face to scare the other girls.) Oh, how I still chuckle over that one!
I have been reading God’s words most mornings for about 11 years
I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. I have done A LOT of Bible Studies and church services. I am a prayer warrior. Truth is I still swear on occasion. Yep. In certain situations (especially pain or anger) there it is. It comes out almost out of nowhere.
People I know that grew up in Evangelical homes can’t believe it. I don’t know what to tell them. Even with Jesus in my heart and The Holy Spirit pumping through my veins. Yep, I can still swear. I sin. I am a sinner. I get annoyed, and I get angry. I fall short EVERY day. You see I am not condoning sin. By no means! I go out of my way to avoid it. If at the very second your surrender your life to Jesus, and we all became perfect people, then why would the cross have had to happen?
God knows my heart,
God knows my heart, and he knows my sins, even when I don’t recognize them immediately myself. But He is still hanging onto me, and sometimes he lets go. Sometimes I fall, I get banged up, I backslide a little, and He is always there to pick me up and heal my wounds. Of course, I want Him to take away my pain BEFORE it happens, but I learn from my mistakes.
I guess that is why he gives us as much time as He allows us on this Earth. He is making us like His Son. He is developing us to act like, SPEAK like and love like Jesus. He loves imperfection. He loves to use imperfect people to do His work. While He is working the kinks out of me, all He is looking for is a willing heart. He wants to use me. He wants to use YOU.
God doesn’t want us judging other people and where they are on their journey.
He wants to use us to pick them up and walk with them. He uses us to help heal their wounds. He wants us to look for what we have in common not only our differences. God also blessed me with a good example of a dad. I realize this. Many people either had no example of this or a horrible experience with their dad. I am SO sorry if that is your truth. Please know that God is a GOOD Father and He will not let you down. Even when you think He has, He is working for your good. He loves you.
And we know that in all things God works for the GOOD of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.