It was the perfect day for a bike ride.
I picked up my five-year-old son after work and drove straight home. As soon as I changed clothes, Bryce and I mounted up on our bicycles. Thanks to a lot of help from my parents, Bryce could now ride without training wheels (that’s a big deal in his world)!
I’m a bit of a “safety freak,” so letting Bryce ride on our neighborhood streets was a major milestone for me. Of course, I don’t let him ride alone.
When we ride, I try to stay behind Bryce. That way, I can watch him while keeping an eye on traffic.
So, as we took off on our ride that day, Bryce was in the lead and I was bringing up the rear. About half way around our block, Bryce yelled back to me, “Dad, are you still there?”
That’s when something important occurred to me: Although I could see Bryce, he could not see me. Throughout the entire ride, Bryce was trusting that I was with him.
Occasionally, I would say, “Stop at the stop sign,” or “pull over while that car drives by.” But I was usually silent during long stretches of riding without traffic or intersections. The only assurance of my presence was the word I had spoken to him before we began the ride: “Bryce, I’ll be right behind you.”
What a picture of faith! Although God can always see us, we are never guaranteed that we will be able to see Him. As we travel on life’s journey, there will be times that we want to cry out, “Abba, Father, are you still there?”
And because of His Word, we can trust him completely. Matthew 28:20 states, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Whether we are riding through areas of life in which God’s presence is evident or not, we can always agree with the psalmist who said,
If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.
If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits,
even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me (Psalm 139:8-10).
As it turns out, my five-year-old isn’t the only one who needs to learn that lesson. The same grace of God that has brought me this far as a single parent will continue to surround me as I press on in my journey. Even when I can’t see what God is doing, I can always trust that He is with me. And, as much as I want to always be there for my son, It’s far more important to introduce Him to the one who “will never leave [us] or forsake [us]” (Hebrews 13:5).