It’s difficult to recall many of the memories I made before school age, but one stands out vividly. It was the day I learned to ride my bike. I had wavered back and forth over the previous month—wishing to be set free from my training wheels, then faltering in fear and asking my father to attach them once again. He had been very patient, but on this day, he decided that enough was enough. He announced that he would NOT be attaching them anymore—and that was it. It was the moment of truth. I had to learn to ride without them.
I remember sitting astride my purple bike, being overwhelmed with fear. What if I fall? What if I scrape my knee? What if I run into the mailbox? But my next memory is that of my father’s voice in my ear. “You just look ahead. Don’t look back—I’m here. I’ve got you. I will keep you safe.” I didn’t know what could happen up ahead, but I knew my father. I knew he was strong. I knew he was good. And I knew he loved me. It was this knowledge of who my father was that allowed me to trust him with what I could not foresee.
So it is with our knowledge of God. It will sustain us through the unforeseen journeys of our lives. There is no escaping the truth that what we believe will determine how we behave. What we believe to be true in this life—and the life that is to come—will affect not only how we face the excruciating but how we live through the mundane. This is why we must all be good students at the feet of our heavenly Father—whether we are pastors in the pulpit, professors in front of the classroom, accountants at the office, or mommies around the breakfast table. We must seek to know God for who He really is—and not just who we wish Him to be.
It was an understanding of God’s greatness that allowed Job to understand his own smallness. Rather than demanding answers, instead he proclaimed,
“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer You? I lay my hand on my mouth…I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted…Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.” Job 40:4; 42:2, 3, 5
It was a firm grasp of God’s character that led Jeremiah, in the midst of his lamentation, to ring out,
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.” Lamentations 3:22-24
And it was a clear understanding of God’s saving work that prompted Paul to confess:
“…for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.” 2 Timothy 1:12
Just as my understanding of my father paved the way for me to take a deep breath and plant my feet firmly on the pedals of my purple bike, so our understanding of our Maker, our Redeemer, our God, will give us what we need to stand fast in the faith. May we take time to know, study, and behold Him!