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)