Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Be Careful...

On Sunday, my family went on a bike ride at the Biking Park, which is what my boys affectionately call their favorite location for a family bike ride.  It was the perfect evening… sunny with a few clouds in the sky and not too hot.  As the bike ride began, an order began to fall into place.  My hubby with our youngest son went first, followed by our oldest son, and I brought up the caboose of our family biking train.  We went on a three loop tour, which is about 7.5 miles. 

I learned a few things on this bike ride.  I learned that my oldest son is an amazing bike rider.  My heart swelled as I watched him ride.  He was able to navigate the hills, quick turns, and coasting with ease.  I was impressed – especially when people were going the wrong way on the street.  His attentiveness and my momma “Oh, Oh, Ohs!” in the background, to the driver through the open car window, kept him safe in what could have been a dangerous situation.  God was definitely watching over us.

I also found myself coaching him throughout the bike ride.  Since it was a beautiful evening, there was lots of activity at the biking park.  On the pedestrian side of the street, we would encounter runners, walkers, and people walking their dogs, along with cars traveling on the other side of the street.  I would anticipate what was coming and would say “Be careful… watch the people up ahead… be on the lookout for cars…”  You get the picture.  I was a shining example of a momma watching out for her son.  At least I think I was.

And while I could coach him till I was blue in the face, I couldn’t control what he did.  I was on a bike myself, so I couldn’t catch him, or stop him.  I could just use my words to guide him.  I found myself offering up silent prayers throughout the ride.  I wonder if any of you have experienced something similar.

And then a light bulb went on in my brain.  I wonder if I was experiencing some of the things God experiences with me… with you.  I could just picture God behind me, coaching me through life.  Whispering things like “Be careful, Heather, there’s a dangerous spot up ahead.  Watch out for that friendship, Heather, it can pull you away from me.  Be on the lookout for temptations and the way out that I promise to provide.”  I could picture His heart swelling with joy when I do what He says, like my heart swelled with joy watching my son navigate the bike path so adeptly.  This experience brought Psalm 139:5-6 to mind:

I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in! (The Message)

Psalm 139:5-6 New Living Translation (NLT)

You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

Psalm 139:5-6  New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

You are all around me. You are behind me and in front of me.
    You hold me in your power.
I’m amazed at how well you know me.
    It’s more than I can understand.

Don’t these verses just blow your mind?  I love the picture it paints… that we are surrounded by God.  He is in our past, our present and our future.  We are never without Him!  Isn’t it amazing how God gives us glimpses of His character like this?  His love for each one of us is too much for my mind to grasp, just like verse 6 says.  God loves each one of us so much.  But He doesn’t force us to follow His divine instructions… just like I couldn’t force my son to obey my coaching.  We get to choose.  We get to decide. 

Will you choose to follow God’s gentle whisper?  Will you be careful when He warns you of something dangerous up ahead… with a relationship, with a financial decision, with a job offer, with a service opportunity, with…?  Will you choose the way out of temptation that He promises to provide (1 Corinthians 10:13)?  Will you believe that God’s coaching is out of His great love for you instead of thinking He’s withholding something from you?  It’s your decision… and know that regardless of what choice you make, His love for you is constant:

Romans 8:38-39  New Living Translation (NLT)

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Listen closely for God’s coaching.  Choose wisely.  And know, without a doubt, that you are deeply loved by God up above.

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