I will strengthen you and help you. (Isa. 41:10)

Teaching a child to ride a bicycle is a privilege many parents have enjoyed. Nearly all of us can visualize it. Whether we remember our own experience or we are thinking of someone else, we can visualize a parent running alongside a child on a bicycle.

At first, the parent’s hand is on the bike, to hold it steady, to keep it from falling. As the child gains confidence, the parent lets go, and rider and bicycle become one, sailing ahead independently. In almost every case, the child, once aware that the parent is no longer steadying the bicycle, shouts, “I did it! I did it! I rode by myself!”

Even if an accident or two occur along the way—almost inevitable—the triumphant feeling of mastering the bicycle brings a thrill to any child.

Yet, in most cases, it never would happen without the parent’s help. The child, fearful at first, gains confidence once he or she hears the parent say, “You can do it. I will help you.”

Isn’t that what God says to us? “I will help you.”

“But, Lord, I feel weak. Trying to live the Christian life, trying to cope with these burdens—I don’t think I can do it.”

“I will strengthen you and help you.”

And unlike the child on the bike, we never outgrow our need for His strength and help.

Take off the training wheels and ride. He will help you.

Ron McClung works at his denomination’s world headquarters and lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have two sons and nine grandchildren.