I absolutely love riding my bike. It makes me feel like a kid again! No matter how tough the hill, or how long it takes me to get up, there is nothing that compares to the downhill ride… The wind in my face and my hair, the feeling of pure abandon and delight… Freedom. Joy. If it weren’t for the prospect of the downhill ride, I don’t think I’d ever make it up the hills at all!
Yesterday, while I was riding our little country road between old shade trees and corn as high as an elephant’s eye, I was thinking how life in general, and our Christian walk specifically, are like a bike ride. We struggle uphill with illness, debt, landlords, and so much more. We walk through a “wilderness” time spiritually, feeling as though God is nowhere to be found. Uphill. Slow. Painful. Low gear. Barely moving. We want to get off and walk, or turn around just to go downhill for a little while.
But we crest the hill and the pedaling gets easier. We can see past the pavement in front of us to the beautiful fields and ponds beyond. And then we start our downhill descent. Finally! Our muscles relax, we breathe deeply and freely, enjoying the wind in our faces and the freedom and joy that is worth the uphill climb. The pride we take in our children, the love we feel for them. Ice cream cones. New babies. Promotions. When the doctor says, “I can’t explain it, but the cancer is gone.”
When I feel as though everything is right in my world, even when it isn’t… When I know that God is in control and he has my back, then I can relax and enjoy the downhill ride. I am free to praise him and give him the glory for all of it. I can rest in him and trust his word. In Matthew 6:34 Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about itself. “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” I can let go of the worry and fear, the struggle and the pain, that go with the uphill fight. Because I know there is a downhill waiting for me.
The lyric in my head is “would you dare to believe that you still have a reason to sing? That the pain that you’ve been feeling, it can’t compare to the joy that’s coming. So hold on, you gotta wait for the light. Press on, and just fight the good fight. Because the pain that you’ve been feeling, it’s just the dark before the morning.” Wonderful words to a song by Josh Wilson called Before the Morning. click here to listen.
The featured image is a snapshot along my bike ride. We live in a gorgeous place to ride!