Only a person living under a rock would not know who Chip and Joanna Gaines are. I apologize if you do not know who they are. Okay, so let’s say you have never seen the television channel HGTV. I’ll explain.
Chip and Joanna Gaines are the hosts of HGTV’s most popular series…Fixer Upper. The couple lives on a farm in Waco, Texas, with their four children. And lots of animals! They rehab homes for their clients. Chip does the smashing and bashing and Joanna does the design and decorating. You can find them at their online site Magnolia Market. (They have a new book coming out October 18. Check it out here.)
Oh, and they are Christians. They redid a house for a young married couple, the wife is the daughter of Max Lucado, who was also on that episode with his wife.
On their program, Chip and Joanna show their client (usually a married couple) three homes in different neighborhoods around Waco, homes that need a lot of update work and that fit the client’s budget.
On one episode, a young couple with two small children (a son around four or so and a daughter around three) lived in Houston but wanted to move back to Waco. After viewing their selection of three homes, they chose the one Chip and Joanna had nicknamed The Chicken House. (It’s episode 16 in season 3, if you’re interested. Which can be found on either of the above links under Our Show.)
In a segment of the episode, the client couple is walking through a local Waco park with their children, as Dad pulls the kids in a little red wagon.
Mom: “Daddy used to come ride his bike all the time in Cameron Park.”
Son: “Daddy, do you ride without training wheels?”
Dad: “I do ride without training wheels.”
Don’t you love that?
Occurrences like this grab my attention. And my heart. They stick to my noggin like flies to flypaper. They make me ponder. If you’ve been a reader for a while, you have probably read some of my ponderings. Whether these ponderings emerge from Scripture or nuggets of thought, they always get applied spiritually. There’s always a lesson to be learned.
Remember when your child or children, or yourself, first learned to ride a bike with training wheels? And then, learned to ride without them?
Which was scarier? Without, of course. Which was a more wobbly ride? Without, at first anyway. Which was better as you grew older? Without.
Even though your self-confidence was taken away at first, you became more proficient the more you rode without training wheels. Your confidence grew and so did your ability. You fell down and got a boo-boo, probably more than once, but you got back on the bike. You became more skilled. Didn’t you even learn to ride without hands?
In this scenario, one thing remains true: eventually, the training wheels must come off. They were there for one reason: training. To teach how to ride without props.
Spiritually, removing the training wheels is like taking away the world’s props; we learn to balance without them. We lean upon the Lord and find our balance in Him. For He and His Word are our equilibrium.
Yes, living without those props is scary at first. Anything we attempt to do in the beginning is scary. Especially stepping out to trust the Lord. As new babes in Christ, we are unbalanced and wobbly in our own efforts, but we mature and develop a dependence on the Lord to keep us balanced, to steady us and give us composure.
The Lord gives us confidence to peddle on in His strength through all life’s situations. If we peddle on in our own strength, we put the training wheels back on to prop ourselves up! In His strength, we grow…from strength to strength.