One of the greatest joys I’ve experienced as a father is when I bought my kids their first bicycle. Putting them on the bicycle and then running along with them, while they learned to keep a bicycle upright and steer it by themselves was an adventure. But the special moment for me would come when they stayed up alone while their little legs were pedaling as fast as they could. I remember the sparkle in their eyes – realizing they had pedaled on their own!
What’s that worth? Can you set a price on that gift to them? Over the years, I have become more aware of our heavenly Father’s desire to give to us in such a way that we too can learn to pedal “down the street” in His kingdom. Let me explain.
It must give God the same joyful experience to see us move forward in our spiritual abilities and gifts as we labor and pray through the process. Personally, I never thought I would stand up each week in front of people and speak. When I attended Grace Bible College a few years back (well…a lot of years back ;)), I sang in a group we formed called ‘Men of Grace.’ We sang at different churches, but one particular evening we sang at a large church in Pennsylvania. I was nervous because there were so many people staring at us! Even though there were 8 of us singing together, I was petrified! I remember considering (while standing there singing for these people) that I must be crazy to think that one day I would be a pastor of a church. So now I preach, week after week, but when I do, I’m sure at times I have that same look in my eye that my kids had on their new bicycle, when I feel God’s pleasure when I am open to Him using me.
You know, as a father, I would give anything I have to my children, unless it’s not going to be good for them. In fact, I get a little crazy and Debbie has to talk some sense into me…because I would give away everything to my kids. But in a healthy way, isn’t that a similar picture of our God?
It reminds me of Jesus saying this to fathers in Matthew 7:9, “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
Do you see the picture Jesus is painting? God loves to give gifts. We receive His gifts. But with excitement – or even doubt and fear – we simply have to ask our Father to help us pedal.
Author: Pastor Steve Blackwell