At an appropriate moment, Dad would let go of the bike but still be running behind. The next stage, unbeknown to me, dad would stop running and instead shout encouragement from a distance away. Of course the first couple of times that happened I invariably fell off! Slowly and with lots of coaching and praise, I found the confidence and skill to ride my bike on my own.
In a minuscule way this memory of my dad speaks of the father heart of God. If we believe we are made in God’s image, then acts of love and kindness, times of encouragement and teaching so that we know new freedoms, these are small reflections of the wonderfulness and awesomeness of God, who is Love.
Thinking of my learning to ride a bike as a mind picture, God encourages us to keep pedalling and to try new things. God goes behind us to steady us if we wobble. God teaches us to trust in his voice, as he instructs us in the ways we should go. God celebrates with us as we grow in confidence and skill. God is also there to comfort us and tend to a scrapped knee along the way. God loves us with the heart of a father who wants good things for us his children.
Let me wish all fathers, and equally those who act as a father figure to others, a very blessed and happy Father’s Day. May we celebrate you for your many gifts: provision, love, care, counsel and laughter. Happy Father’s Day!