Falling and Rising

On my return from our mid-week service this week, I twice fell off my bike. I had determined that, though the temperatures were low, there had been little rain, so the ice would be minimal. Yet two little ice rinks had formed, from what I suspect was melted frost water which trickled out of the fields and remained on the lane, gathering in the depressions. The first time, neither I nor my bike sustained injury; the second bestowed a few bruises and grazes, a swollen knee and a bike in for repair. As time slowed between the skidding and the landing, I heard Solomon’s pointed admonition ringing in my ears:

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

I reflected well on these words. Yet I also gave thanks to God. Whereas the heathen would blame Him for allowing it to happen (without conversely praising Him when He doesn’t), the child of God may rejoice that it was not worse. A broken bike is not a broken wrist; a limp home is not a blue-lit journey to Blackburn in an ambulance; a torn glove is not torn flesh. The Scottish Reformer John Knox once said:

“Trials are divine sculptors; they chisel away at our pride, carving us into humble vessels of God’s grace.”