Do you remember the first time you went solo on a bicycle? I sure do! I thought my mom was holding on to my bike. Imagine my surprise when I glanced back only to discover my human training wheels had fallen off. It was scary, but I am glad mom let go. Once she set me free I went places and saw things I would have missed otherwise. Besides, I would have been a joke with my mother still steadying my bike when I was fifteen. Mom set me free! In a small way that “letting go” helped to bring out the best in me.
Others have released their steadying grip to help me pedal farther. I think of Ms. Mays, my ninth-grade English teacher. She required me to give a speech when I absolutely feared standing in front of the class. I am so glad she did. She set me on a journey that has culminated in one of the great joys of my life—teaching and preaching God’s Word in front of crowds of people every week.
Jesus was not afraid to let go. He loved his disciples, but he knew they would never learn to fly unless he pushed them out of the nest.
And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them." And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. (Luke 9:1-6,10 ESV)
I would have enjoyed being in on that little post-ministry analysis. “Jesus, you should have seen the look on that guy’s face when the demon came out!” “Teacher, when we healed the man the crowd went wild. They were ready to listen to every word we said.” “Lord, not one time did I go without food! The Father took care of my every need.” As Jesus listened to report after report he must have smiled. His fearful disciples now growing in confidence!
Many times we are deceived into thinking the best way to bring out the best in others is to hold them, support them, and comfort them. And while these things are necessary, there comes a time when we have to “let go of the back of the bike.” The mom must send the fearful child to school. The dad must let his son take the wheel. The boss has to let the new sales rep go solo! The budding preacher has to give his first message. The new coach must lead her first practice.
If we want to bring out the best in others we must remember what Jesus did – He let them go to set them free.
MY PRAYER: Lord, please give me wisdom and boldness to “let go of the back of the bike” with _____________________. Please use that action to set them free.