The Meridian Star
“Life is like riding a bicycle,” Claude Pepper said. “You don’t fall off until you stop peddling.”
But what happens when I’m peddling along just fine and suddenly life knocks me right off the bike? Now I’m bruised and hurting and my bike is totaled; that’s when I’m tempted to give up. That’s when I need encouragement, and it always encourages me to hear about people who’ve been knocked down many times, and yet they were able to get back up and try again.
Grandma Moses’ life is a good example. Anna Mary Moses was born in 1860. She and her husband worked hard as tenant farmers. She gave birth to 10 children, but five of her babies died.
After her husband died, she continued her farm work. Because she loved beautiful things, she began embroidering. Later her fingers became stiff with arthritis, and she could no longer accomplish the embroidery stitches. However, she discovered that she could hold a paint brush, and she began painting colorful pictures on barn-wood.
After she was 70 years old, Moses produced more than 1,600 paintings. And when she was 100 years old, she painted book illustrations for “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
Moses concluded her autobiography with the following words: “I look back on my life like a good day’s work, it was done and I feel satisfied with it. I was happy and contented; I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered. And life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.” She lived to be 101.
In the midst of unpleasant circumstances, it’s hard to see what God has planned for the future. I love the story of the little guy who was called a slow learner, even retarded, but he grew up to be Albert Einstein. I also read about Itzhak Perlman, whose parents survived a Nazi concentration camp. He was paralyzed from the waist down, but he became one of the world’s great concert violinists.
And do you remember J.R. Martinez? He was so badly burned and disfigured as a soldier in Iraq that he feared he could never go out in public again. He prayed his way through many painful treatments and surgeries. He told God, “I know I survived for a reason, Lord. Lead me to the other side of this pain.” He spent three years recovering, and later received the Mirrorball trophy on Dancing With the Stars.
Eric Liddell, the medal-winning Olympic runner featured in the film Chariots of Fire, said “Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins. God’s love is still working. He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out His wonderful plan of love.”
Unlike these famous people, I don’t run, dance, paint, or play the violin, but I do want to get back up after each fall and peddle on to see what God has in store for my future.