"And by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross." Colossians 1:20
In the Smith family us two younger girls were not afforded a childhood bicycle. You see, we lived on a very busy street in Birmingham that began with a hill and ended with a hill. With rolling hills for a front and backyard. About the time I was old enough to ride a bike a neighborhood friend was hit by a car while riding her bicycle, injuring her very badly, so that was truly the end of any hope Sonya or I had of becoming a possessor of a two-wheeled vehicle of any sort.
But let's go take a trip to the country, shall we.
It had rained all morning. My cousin and I had stared out the window, waiting for some reprieve from the wetness falling from the sky and when it finally did we were off. We plowed through MawMaw Sadie's front door (like horses out of the gate as the gun sounded) clamoring down the front steps where our bikes sat at the ready for us to ride like the wind.
We rode fast and hard up the street being mindful of all the rocks that had been scattered into the road at a certain driveway entrance by the rainstorm. As we made our way up to the top of a small hill we turned around so that we could race back down to see who could make it back to MawMaw's driveway first.
As we contemplated the road back a gang of dogs had collected themselves at this driveway, making their way into the road and blocking our path (a reminder of how I feel about dogs, see post; 'What Are You Afraid Of?'). As we yelled out, "ready, set, go!" we took off at high speed letting the dogs (or my fear of them) be my incentive to go faster. I am proud to say I was in the lead. I raced as fast as my legs would peddle just trying to make it through the mangy mongrels, all the while praying and willing my legs to move me faster.
Focusing so much on the dogs (or a way through them) I forgot all about the rock collection that lay beneath their feet. I thought I had made my way safely through the pack until all of a sudden my front tire was compromised by a stone causing me to lose control, propelling me off of my ride. I held on to the handle bars for dear life as it careened me down the road on my belly, my body making contact with the pavement hitting my knees and elbows, arms and shins. I didn't think the bike would ever come to a stop, making it almost to MawMaw's driveway, but when it did I scraped myself up and off the asphalt. Blood was pouring out of every wound as I picked the bicycle up, mustering up enough grit in walking it the rest of the way, the handlebars being bent and twisted in an odd way, making it hard to steer in the right direction.
I willed myself not to be a cry baby (you just didn't let your boy cousin see you cry) as tears threatened to pour down my cheeks. I arrived at MawMaw's front door and limped my way through the house straining hard to find her and her soft embrace. As soon as she saw me not a word was spoken, she just opened her arms and I climbed in. She held me and caressed me and told me it would be alright. That is when the flood gates opened and I let the groans of pain and fear burst forth like the opening of a dam. I knew she would take care of me. She would clean me up, bandage my injuries and feed me something really good that would set my heart at peace.
Life can be harsh with all of the scrapes, bumps and bruises. We travel through times of brokenness, loss, fear, and shame. The world may leave us lost and confused, hurt and unloved, but when we belong to Jesus, He took that away and bore it on Himself. He suffered and died to pardon and sanctify you and me.
We must run to Him for all that scares us and causes us to question the things we go through. He will pick you up, bandage your wounded heart and chase away your fears and set You on His path. He will remind you that He is always with you.
So on that hill so far away stood an old rugged cross, let's cling to it and let it be a symbol of hope, peace and assurance that God has for us in our home far away.
So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Thank You for the Cross and the meaning it holds; for without it we would have no hope. In this world that seems everyday to be drowning in chaos may I cling to You and hold fast to Your promises. Be with those who are hurting and lost, who don't know You as their personal Savior. May today be the day that their life will be forever changed, and most importantly their eternal future will hold a new light of hope and peace. In Jesus' name. Amen.