So often I hear one or more people living with illness or pain say, “Why did God let this happen?” As many of you probably already know, I tend to take an “illness is neither bad nor good, it just is,” approach to the question of “Why?” or even, “Why me?” I don’t believe God is punishing us with illness or flogging us with pain.
There is, however, another image that comes to mind when someone says, “Why?” and it goes back to one of the earliest activities that many of us did when we were children: Bicycle riding.
Remember the excitement of seeing that first bicycle? Remember the little flicker of fear when we first put pedal to the metal and rode along under the watchful gaze and steady hand of our mother, father, or other caring soul who wanted to teach us to ride? Remember the elation at first “riding solo?” What freedom!
And then, remember that first fall? The scraped knee, the bruised ego, maybe even the broken arm? And the same, loving parent who’d taught us to ride, picked us up, tended to our hurts, and encouraged us, even cheered us on, to ride again?
As we live on this earth in human form, we will have our share of falls and hurts. Illness is one of these, as is pain, and there are others. But God is not absent as we ride and fall, feel the elation of freedom and the hard thud to the ground. Rather, he is teaching us to ride, again, and ever present to pick us up and tend to our hurts. He is, after all, our heavenly Father.
As I “ride” through this life, I try to remember that God is watchful, loving, and ever-ready to pick me up if I fall. And what a great feeling of comfort and peace that is!
Blessings for the day,