When I was a kid, my Dad wanted us to bike together as a family, but my twin brother and I couldn’t keep up with my older siblings and my parents. We were just learning how to ride bikes and could barely reach the peddles. But he was there for our protection.
My Dad, always an aspiring amateur engineer, came up with a genius solution. He made a platform mounted on bike wheels that he could pull behind his bike. It was awesome – not very safe by today’s standards, but my twin brother Kevin and I always had strict instructions to keep our arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.
My Dad would get on his big bike, and we would pile on the trailer. My older siblings, Cheri and Mike, would get on their bikes. Mom would even come along. We had a great time back then. The memories will stay with me forever, I’m sure.
God’s direction in life
As I’m sitting here thinking about these memories, I think about how the Holy Spirit directs us and guides us through life. God promises to take care of us, and the Holy Spirit shows us the way. In Psalms, David reminds us that, “[God’s] word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
The Word is scripture that God gave to provide instruction and direction for our lives. Jesus upholds the scripture many times, proving it’s worth as a guide for our lives. Jesus promises the Holy Spirit will guide God’s children. This is no small promise. He says no one can get to God without Jesus serving as our guide. Jesus explains, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Many times, God has said he will go before us. There are numerous references throughout the epic story of creation that he has made this promise. Notably, Moses tells Joshua and the nation of Israel, “The Lord himself goes before us and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
The thrill of the ride
When I think of my Dad, pulling us behind his bike, I’m reminded of feelings of love, safety, and the thrill of the ride. I didn’t have to know the path. I didn’t have to map it out and determine the best course. I just had to sit back and enjoy the ride – and keep my hands away from danger. Dad knew the way. I could trust my Father to get me to my destination.
Mom usually took up the sweep position in the rear of our processional. She wanted her kids where she could see them. She was watching for danger and acting as our rear guard. Mom would make sure we stayed together, and no one fell behind. It must have been nerve-wracking!
God does the same for us. In one of his poetic tributes, David paints a beautiful picture of God’s care for his chosen people. David says, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Psalm 139:1-6
The protection of the Father
On our outings, the older siblings had a responsibility to make sure the younger brothers listened to Mom and Dad. Cheri was a “Mother Hen,” keeping an eye on Mom and Dad’s behalf, making sure Kevin and I listened to instructions. Mike kept an eye out for danger beyond our immediate surroundings, raising the alert when needed.
There are several verses in scripture that describe God covering us under his wings of protection. He has us protected on all sides. He’s the rock under our feet. He’s a refuge – a mighty fortress. He literally has us surrounded.
“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:11-12
With God providing our protection from the front, the rear, and all around us, we should be able to rest easy and enjoy the ride.