Did you ever have a bike with training wheels on it? I did. I remember the day they came off too. I was so excited. I remember my dad held the bike up as I got on it. It was wobbly and my excitement quickly turned to fear. My dad didn’t give me a choice to get off the bike. He told me to pedal as he held onto my seat. As I pedaled, he ran along behind me. He cheered me on with words of encouragement. As the wind blew in my hair, a smile crept over my face. I looked to see if my dad was just excited and he wasn’t there. He was further back. I was doing it on my own.
Maybe you can relate. Your story is probably similar. It’s comforting to know there’s someone holding onto the seat, but there’s also a great excitement in the freedom of being released. There’s a sense of accomplishment when your training wheels are off and your pedaling is keeping you upright. I think acting in faith is very similar to the experience of riding a bike. We all like having the training wheels on, but sooner or later they’ve gotta come off.
God doesn’t want us to have training wheels on our faith for our entire lives. He expects us to grow and to mature. He wants to take them off and set us free to do His will and His work. Just because they’re off, it doesn’t mean He isn’t there with you or watching you. It means He trusts you enough to accomplish what He made you to do. I imagine the disciples were scared when Jesus ascended into Heaven. All of a sudden their training wheels were off and they were expected to ride.
Jesus entrusted the future of Christianity with those eleven men and set them free. For three years they were being trained on how to share God’s message of love for us. Jesus knew that they would be more effective if He took the training wheels off and freed them to go out into the world. He knew they were ready, but they didn’t. He had to let go of the seat, return to Heaven and watch as they pedaled. When they fell, He picked them up, dusted them off and put them back on the bike because a good father doesn’t let his children stay down when they fall.
You and I aren’t much different. We have training wheels in our lives that God wants to remove. There’s excitement thinking about it, but also fear. The questions of doubt arise and get us to beg God to keep those training wheels on longer. It’s as if we don’t trust Him when He says we’re ready. We want the freedom, but are also afraid of it. God wants to release us to do His work in the world, but we’re too scared to have Him let us go and to set us free to do it. Sooner or later, the wheels have to come off or we’ll never be as effective as He needs us to be.
What are the training wheels in your life that God wants to take off? Why are you afraid to let Him remove them? God can do so much more through you if you’ll just trust Him. He knows that you were created for His purpose and to do His will. He’s spent the necessary time training you and developing you to do what He has called you to do. Let Him set you free to that work. Let Him remove the training wheels that are keeping you from the freedom He has for you. Start to pedal, let the wind blow through your hair, smile and learn to trust yourself and God.