I learned to ride a bike fairly late compared to most other kids I knew. I was seven before I was brave enough to let my dad take off the training wheels. And of course, I ran into our fence. Honestly, it was probably almost a year after that before I was super confident riding alone.
By the time I was nine I thought I could do anything. I wanted to prove to my mom how independent I was. I asked if I could ride my bike to the corner store, about 2.2 miles away (we lived out in the country) to buy a quart of milk for a baking project she was doing with my grandma. Mom said “Sure you can.” She gave me a few dollars to pay for the milk (and a treat for me). I was so proud as I rode to the store, paid for the groceries, put them in the daisy basket of my bike and pedaled home. For little anxious me, this is still one of the highlights of bravery in my life.
A few years ago, Mom confessed that she and Grandma followed me to the store that day. They followed behind me at a safe distance in the station wagon. I was so wrapped up in my courageous endeavor that I never noticed them!! But how comforting, in retrospect, to know that she was always just a cry away if I needed her.
Sometimes it seems like God isn’t there. We’re looking for answers or guidance and we’re not getting them. We want some sort of sign, but we’re not seeing it.
Job 34: 29-30 reads:
“If God is silent, what’s that to you? If he turns his face away, what can you do about it? But whether silent or hidden, he’s there…”
I think the truth is that sometimes we need the signs and guidance and sometimes we don’t. When times are really rough, or we encounter a new situation, or we are just not that grounded in the Word, then God holds our hand to guide us through. But as we gain more experience and discernment, God wants us to try to make those decisions on our own – to trust our own judgement based on what we have learned.
Still, He is always there, just a few steps behind, waiting to step in if we need Him. So we can step out in confidence, knowing that, just like my mom’s station wagon, God is watching us, from a distance.
Have you ever faced a decision and you weren’t sure God was there? How did you handle it? How did you feel?