Riding with Faith Not Fear
“But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on Earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:32-33
After years as a road racer and at times a triathlete, I was thrust unexpectedly into the world of adventure racing. A friend of mine was putting together a team for a race in West Virginia and invited me to come along. He assured me that, though it had been some time since I had ridden a mountain bike, the terrain was unlikely to be that challenging.
Naively, I signed up and the adventure began. However, I suspected something was amiss from the get-go. Driving to the race start (a 5-hour jaunt), the terrain changed from the gentle rolling hills of home to jagged peaks and deep valleys. Rather than the rolling paths I had been led to believe awaited me, I encountered a rocky and root-laden slope, which sent my bike and me hurling off the trail within half of a mile.
This repeated multiple times throughout the race. After each crash, I wondered “How much more of this will there be?” In those moments, I was much like the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai. I was struggling, suffering, and unsure of when it would all end. I was unsure that I could complete the race or even that I would survive it given that one crash nearly sent me hurtling off a cliff!
I grumbled like the Israelites had done against Moses and God. I am sure many now are wondering how and when this recent pandemic will end. Most of us remember the better days of abundant lands of “milk and honey” (or perhaps toilet paper).
It is in these valleys, that we learn how dependent we are on Him. When our own strength fails, we can more readily recognize that God’s grace is sufficient for us and that His power is made perfect in weakness. Our faith tends to grow more in the valleys and deserts of life than on the mountain tops. While I (and the Israelites) may not have known what was around the next curve, God did. He has a plan for us, and it is good. Trust in Him!
- How have you grown through your desert experiences?
- How can you help others who are suffering during this time?
John 14:27; 2 Corinthians 12:8-10; James 1:2-4
“Lord, help me to trust in You. Grant me faith to replace my fear and help me to remember that You have a plan and that it is good. Amen.”