Training Wheels

by MitchellRichards

It occurred to me at work today…

Maybe I should say…

Today at work, I remembered something that I have always known, a fact that often gets lost in the shuffle, that being that God never holds anything over us.

By that, I mean that God never uses our mistakes as leverage. Although He is God, He never really acts like it until we need Him to. He never rubs His power in our faces, He never brags that He is Almighty, all knowing, all seeing, and all that jazz…He never toys with us, as if we were pawns in some sort of game, rather He breathes life into us, offering us free will to choose, and hands us a pen and allows us to write the story of our own life. He never ties a carrot or a steak on a fishing pole to dangle it in front of our faces in order to go the direction He wants us to.

The thought occurred to me when I was thinking about a relationship of mine that is troubled by past mistakes. I found comfort in knowing that there is hope that someone who understands grace would forgive these wrongs and move on. I also find hope in the fact that even if they don’t, God will never hold it against me. I rationalized that I was done progressing in this relationship because of these past mistakes, but God revealed otherwise by assuring me that this was only the beginning. I told myself that I cannot progress as a person because something was in the way. Now, instead of God shoving this wrong doing in my face like you’d shove a puppy’s face in it’s urine when you are potty training it, if you look for it, He is offering a different way.

For me, I don’t think God is offering a way around it, but rather a way through it. Again, God never holds these failures over me, He never looks down on me, He never lowers His brow in disappointment. I’d like to think that God offers encouragement every time we fall, like my parents did whenever I was learning to ride my bike without training wheels. They never looked down on me, they never condemned me or grounded me for scraping my knee on the concrete. They understood that I wasn’t a grown up, they understood that my feet could barely reach the pedals, and they understood that I had no concept of balance on two wheels. They never looked at me like I was a failure, there was almost a certain hope in their eyes, like a twinkle, that watching crash repeatedly was teaching me a lesson.

I think God looks at us with that same twinkle in His eye, that while we are screw ups, He still has hope in us. It is hard to imagine that the creator of the world has hope in us. While we drive ourselves into the ground with shortcomings and sins, God reveals to us His potential in us and through us. It isn’t until we are knocked out that we can really understand what it means to be awake. It isn’t until we have fallen 30,000 times that we can finally understand what it means to be standing firm. We cannot be strong without first being weak.

God will be with us the entire way to delight in us, to laugh at us when we get discouraged at the petty things we stress out about, like a loving parent holding back laughter as his kid throws his bike to the ground while he exclaims that he has given up trying. God knows we will be back on that bike soon, and so He smiles.

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