There are times when everything seems to harmoniously fit together and every piece, every part, is functioning the way it should. It’s beautiful. Then there are times when I look at life as if it were an unassembled bike with foreign instructions and extra parts left over after hours of attempting to make it look like a bike.
I sit and look at life, with all of its unnamed parts and half-understood instructions and wonder where I went wrong. Did I go wrong? Do I have it right? Are there simply extra parts? I thought I followed every step as directed. I sit on the floor discouraged. Unsuccessful. With a mechanical thing that in no way resembles a bike.
It’s just been that way lately. Unrelenting. Exhausting. For every effort, there is a difficulty. Two steps back. An inhale of optimism is sucker-punched from stronger forces and a nauseated exhale releases in defeat.
Trying to do what I believe with my whole heart God wants me to do.
But the more I try, the less anything makes sense.
Seriously. Just as we broach the next step with faith and hope, we are blindsided and are left speechless and stunned. Numb. Our compass spinning in circles.
We trust the plan God has for our lives. From parenting to global missions to other ministries, we are pedaling pedaling pedaling on a half-made bike. We are tired.
We are working so very hard to stay on the course lit by the reflection of God’s glory shining, showing us the way. Remembering to suit up in the armor of God. Remembering to love. Be gracious. Be merciful. At the same time I feel so incredibly vulnerable. Raw.
The more I rely on God to help me in the ministries I am involved in, the more I feel alone. I know I’m not, but it’s a feeling nonetheless.
To keep on truckin’ in easier said by one who has the wind on their back and strong momentum on their bike. It feels lately as though I am riding my bike, half-assembled, straight up a mountain into the wind, with no relief for endless miles. Gears slipping and grinding the harder I try.
So how does one respond when mile after mile is gained merely inch by inch? When every thrust of the pedal is nearly impossible? When, try as I might, there is no visible evidence that anything I am doing is gaining any ground. What then?
I want to get off the bike. I want to throw the bike over the mountain and start walking…downhill. I want to give up. But, this isn’t about what I want. As a Christ follower, I am compelled to surrender my preferences and lean into He who gave me the bike.
I am learning like never before that ministry is tough. Really tough. It is a battlefield and the enemy takes no prisoners. Alone as it feels, just keep pedaling. What I know is that nothing can separate me from God’s love. Not the mountain. The wind. Exhaustion. Discouragement. Or the bike.
Once I rode my bike in our hilly neighborhood uphill, and nearly having a heart attack, I refused to get off of it out of sheer pride for those possibly peering through their windows at me.
Today, it is ANYTHING but pride keeping me on this bike – this season of difficult ministry. What holds my feet to the pedals is an insatiable burden God gave me for those I serve. An obligation to finish what He asked me to start. Driving love and passion for what drives His love and passion. And ironically, humility keeps me pushing against logic that says quit. Knowing I can’t do this on my own, I find rest in His refuge. Contentment to endure because of His faithfulness – not mine. Strength in the name of Jesus.
I don’t know how long it will take to ride this bike all the way up the mountain, but I place my hope in faith that the view from the top will be breathtakingly spectacular…and every bit worth it.