Have you ever been in a situation you knew warranted fear, anxiety or stress, but found yourself to be freakishly peaceful; capable of rational thought, even?
I have, and I was humbled by it. It taught me, upon reflection, that I’m really just an obnoxious child learning to ride a bike.
Hands off! I got this…
You were expecting some great spiritual lesson? Well, there is one but it comes after understanding just how blind I’ve been.
The blessing always does come after humility, doesn’t it?
From these intermittent periods of supernatural peace, I learned that, while God is gently but firmly grasping the back of my banana seat and steadying my panicky soul – probably breaking his back in the process – I’m making brilliant comments, like:
I’ve got this! I know how to ride a bike, Dad. You don’t have to do it for me anymore.
Would you let go already?
And he does.
Then do I learn the deep and spiritual lesson?
When I speed wobble uncontrollably, trading in unsurpassed peace for unmitigated panic, I can be heard whining:
Father! Please help me to have peace through this chaos!
Where is that peace that your word promises?
The God I Know
Have any idea how this works out for me?
If you know my God, you do. He comes and picks me up again, bringing peace and his steadying hand.
How much patience would you have trying to teach this kid to ride a bike?
Well, he’s got more; infinite patience, in fact. And, while it’s divine that he will continue to pick me up when I ask him, this is a pretty bumpy ride, from my perspective.
I would so like to just stay on the dang bicycle.
As it turns out, though, this whole bicycle analogy is the problem. Because having inner peace in times of great turmoil is just not a bike that I’m meant to ride on my own.
In fact, this life isn’t a bike that I’m meant to ride on my own.
And, until I learn that in order to keep myself rubber side down and rolling forward I will have to be okay with God’s hand on the back of my seat… Until then, I will continue to end up with skinned knees, sitting next to my crashed bike, eating dirt.
The scripture that teaches this much more eloquently than me is Philippians 4:6-7:
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
It was quite recently that I realized I was trying to ride this unrideable bike.
It dawned on me as I was picking up my keys on the way out the door; ready to enact my plan for my day. At the time, things were going along well in the peacefulness department, despite my life looking like an episode of spiritual Wipeout.
That’s when it hit me.
He’s given me this peace as a gift, like handing $5 to a grandchild. And, here I think I’m headed out to buy a yacht and a moderate sized fiefdom for myself.
Thank you very much for the peace, Lord. I’ll take it from here.
That’s two bad analogies to say that this peace that we covet is under his control. If we want to live under his blessing and his peace, then he needs to be in control.
Thankfully, I can pray that he will make my heart want to follow him, because I often feel like I’m infinitely blind to my desire to take the reins and drive my own cart.
(That’s three now. Someone stop me!)
Mercifully, he’s infinitely patient; with obnoxious little girls who don’t know when they need help, with bad analogies and with you and me.
Lord, please make me delight in following you, even when it seems – to me – like I don’t need your help.
What are some ways God gives you his peace? How about some areas that you struggle to give over control to him?