Reflections from a Bike Ride

09 Aug

Yesterday morning I went for a bike ride. I have been exercising several mornings per week, usually alternating between running (well, actually jogging in my case) and biking. This morning I decided to ride my bike and enjoy the cool breeze and beautiful scenery set against the backdrop of the sun rising over the mountain. However, my peaceful journey was about to change.

Almost half way through my ride, I came upon a rather steep hill. As I down-shifted to a lower gear, I approached the foreboding menace with the intent of pedaling all the way to the top. (I should interject here that, after my previous bike ride, I noticed that my bike’s handlebars were crooked. So, after that ride, I loosened the bolt in the handlebar stem and straightened the handlebars. I then tightened the bolt securely – or so I thought I did). As I started to ascend the hill, I noticed that the handlebars were crooked again. While continuing to ride, I struggled with trying to straighten the handlebars. I then stopped the bike part way up the hill. I dismounted, straightened the handlebars and returned to riding, but before long the handlebars were once again slightly crooked. I decided that a somewhat skewed posture was better than trying to stop again on the hill and restart. So, I peddled along a little further.

About 1/3 of the way up the hill, the climb became extremely difficult (at least for me). My heart pumped excitedly and my legs began to weaken. So, I stood up with the intent of being able to continue pedaling up the hill. At the same time that I stood, I exerted additional force on the handlebars, which caused them to yank loose and turn considerably to the right. I had no control over my front wheel as the bike turned sharply to the right, off the road and began to descend down a steep embankment! I applied the brakes but to no avail. So, all I could do was cry out “Lord help!” as I looked at what was in front of me – a patch of briers! About 10 yards down the embankment, I came to an abrupt stop in that patch (ouch!).

As I lifted myself up and began to feel the sting of my wounds, I slowly gathered my bike and climbed up the embankment back onto the road. I pulled branches out of the wheel spokes and began to walk up the hill. Nary had a vehicle passed me during the entire experience, but what a sight it would have been. As I crested the hill, I began to ride again and pedaled and steered ever so cautiously during the remainder of my ride.

As I finished my ride, I reflected on the experience. I thought about how I was instantaneously thrown off course. I had no control over the direction I was headed or ability to stop myself from descending the embankment. My efforts were futile. All I could do was cry out to God – “Lord help!” As I reflected, I was also reminded of those first few moments after the incident that changed our lives forever. As I hovered over the lifeless body of our son, Isaac, and tried earnestly to revive him… As my wife tried desperately over the phone to describe the situation to the 911 operator and relay the instructions to me… As she ran to the neighbor for help… As we waited for the medics to arrive… All we could do during those moments of powerlessness, when our world was spinning out of control, was cry “Lord Jesus, please help us!”

In those moments, when there is nothing else and life has overwhelmed us, what is the cry of our hearts? We had no ability to articulate a prayer full of prose. We had no cognizance to extol the majesty, wisdom and virtue of God (which we should do). Our only instinct was to cry out “Lord Jesus, please help us!” And He has, although in ways that we would never expect.

As I finished writing about this experience, another thought came to mind. Should this be our prayer that leads us to salvation? “Lord Jesus, please help me!” When you’ve done all you can to try to make things right with God… When your life just continues to spiral downward and out of control… When your powerless to change the direction that your life is headed… When no matter how much you work for your salvation, there is no rest and peace in your soul… When you finally give up and cry out “Lord Jesus, please help me!” – I know He will.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom 10:13)




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9 responses to “Reflections from a Bike Ride

  1. Cheryl

    August 9, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    *tears* Thanks for that wonderful post.

    When God is all we have, He is all we need…a quote I heard somewhere

    I hope that you are ok from your fall and thanklful that you continue to reflect on the way that God has continued to help you through this tragedy.

    • Ephesians 5:16

      August 10, 2012 at 6:38 AM

      Thanks again Cheryl. I am doing fine – just some scratches. We hope that all is well with you and your family. Blessings. ~Andy

  2. Peter Wiebe

    August 9, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Great illustration, Andy. When we are in desperate straits, we don’t need all the fancy prayers-simply crying out to Jesus is enough.

  3. lifeofministermom

    August 12, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    God bless you and your family Andy. Thank you for such honesty and sincere reflection in your posts. I look forward to following you and your family as you walk in faith and trust in the Lord!


    Psalm 34:17
    New King James Version (NKJV)
    The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
    And delivers them out of all their troubles.

    • Ephesians 5:16

      August 12, 2012 at 9:09 PM

      Thank you for the encouragement, Patricia.

  4. Susan B

    August 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Your writing took me with you on your bicycle ride, and when I found myself looking over your shoulder at your child I became afraid, and wanted to run away. I’m in awe of your faith. You draw on your belief for peace. Did you/do you get angry at God?

    • Ephesians 5:16

      August 13, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      Susan: Thank you for reading and visualizing this post. Your comment and question are very thoughtful and I hope that I reply carefully.

      When I remember that day, I also want to run away because the emotional pain is almost unbearable. Anger has been a common emotion for me through this experience. I don’t know if I am angry at God. Perhaps I am because I cannot really identify who or what I am angry at. I become especially angry when I lose sight of eternity and begin to focus on the “unfairness” of our circumstances. However, God is faithful to lovingly remind me of the unfairness of His Son’s death. I feel frustrated because I have unanswered questions and cannot understand the meaning behind such a horrendous death suffered by Isaac. Yet, when I trust in God’s mercy and goodness, and believe with all my heart that Isaac is safe with Him, then His peace overtakes my need to understand. When I see the doors that He opens to allow us to interact with people such as you, on a level that may never have occurred if Isaac had not died, then I can see His marvelous hands at work, redeeming this for His glory. I have to see it this way or else I would sink into despair.

      Thank you for your encouragement. My faith is a gift from God.



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