One evening after supper my husband suggested we ride the Greenbelt Bike & Walking path in Kingsport. We loaded up our bikes onto the trailer and headed off for our first adventure on this trail. We followed the directions we found on-line about a parking area. After unloading our bikes we found ourselves riding on a gravel path – downhill…for a long way! I called out to my husband who was ahead of me, “You know, whatever goes down has to come up!” I knew coming back would be harder than the path we were taking now.
Soon we hit the paved path of the Greenbelt and enjoyed a lovely ride. We saw a little water fall, a riverbed beside us, a family of ducks swimming, and others sunning themselves in the grass. It was beautiful!
We’d timed how long we’d ridden so we could make it back to the car before dark. It was now time to turn around. I kept thinking about the steep hills we’d ridden down. I was riding an old-fashioned bike – the kind with no gears. Pretty soon, I looked ahead and a hill loomed before us, and there I saw a man walking and pushing his bike up the hill (not real encouraging!) Determined to make it, I began pedaling harder. Soon I stood and pedaled – I was riding past the man (albeit, very slowly!), then I sat and pushed, thinking to myself “one more pedal, one more pedal.” Finally I made it! This was repeated a couple more times before we reached the gravel path. Ugh! Now it was even harder.
Slowly, but surely, we made it back to the car. We did end up walking up the gravel path – it was just too steep to climb without gears, but even walking, it was quite a workout. The point was, with the Lord’s enablement and strength, we made it!
The Christian life isn’t about coasting downhill every day, is it? Many television evangelists would tell you that’s what it’s like, but that’s not what the Bible teaches. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous…” Psalm 34:19 There can be many days all bunched together that we literally feel like we’re standing up on the bike and pedaling for all its worth and moving very slowly. Then we get really winded and have to get off and walk. The important thing is to keep moving. I knew if I stopped while on my bike I’d never make it to the top. If you’re going through a difficulty right now, the enemy will tempt you to question God’s ways, his love for you, and will urge you to quit, but he’s not telling you the truth. The truth is that the unrighteous man also has troubles, but the last part of Psalm 34:19 says the Lord delivers him (the righteous) out of them all. The unrighteous man is on his own. However, we have an advocate, praying for us when we’re panting, out of breath, and needing strength. He will see us to the end. Think back to the blessings of the past; answered prayer, God’s provisions, and His mercy and keep on pedaling! Don’t quit – with the Lord’s enablement, we will make it!
Because of Calvary,