When I was eight, my favorite activity was riding my red bicycle.
Once, during summer break from school, several of my neighborhood friends came over to my house to see if I wanted to race our bikes around the block. Of course, I said, “yes.”
Back then; nobody wore bicycle helmets –except for me. I didn’t wear a helmet for safety, but rather, to be cool. The irony now is to look back and see how goofy I probably looked. Why? Because the helmet I wore was actually a football helmet! I called it my “racing helmet” and used permanent marker to add lightning bolts on the sides.
My friends and I got on our bikes and lined up on the street in front of my driveway. “On your mark, get set, go!” We all took off.
We were all neck-and-neck as we navigated the first turn. But by the second turn, I was in the lead! This only fueled my excitement and caused me to pedal faster.
As I approached the third turn, a four way stop, I wondered if I should stop at the stop sign or keep pedaling. It didn’t take me long to make up my mind. I couldn’t stop –not while I was in the lead.
I made the turn as quickly as possible. But then, something happened.
The next thing I knew, my friend’s mom was saying something to me. Then, a couple of other adults were talking to me. And, then it occurred to me, I was lying on the street. I had been hit by a car!
The next thing I knew, my parents were by my side and an ambulance came to take me to the hospital. I only had to stay overnight and then I was released to go back home. I didn’t have any serious injuries, except for some really painful burns on my arms and legs from where I hit the pavement.
The Dr. said that if I hadn’t been wearing my helmet, I probably would have sustained major head injuries and possibly would have died (that helmet doesn’t seem so goofy now).
It would be easy to say, “God spared my life that day.” While this is a true statement, it almost implies that God only protects us in the most dramatic of situations. As if in all of the mundane instances of life, we are able to protect ourselves. Of course, that is not true.
Every moment we are alive on this earth is a moment spared by God. King David understood this when he wrote, “My times are in your hand” (Psalm 31:15).
It’s not just that God spared my that day, but He spares my life everyday that I remain alive on this earth!
His providential care protects me (and you) physically everywhere I go. King David asked, “Where shall I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7).
Of course, one day the time will come in which I pass from this earth. On that day, it cannot be said that God has failed me, but yet that God has blessed me.
You see, there is another protection, which God provides for his children. It is an eternal protection of life. Paul describes it as the “helmet of salvation” (Ephesians 6:17). Although I will one day leave this world behind (praise God), there is another world more wonderful and more real of which I am a citizen.
And in that world, nobody dies! There are no accidents, ambulances, or hospitals… and certainly no need for racing helmets!