My friend asked about RELENTLESS GRACE. She wanted to understand the process that led from injury to despair to depression to 1500-mile bike ride to FREEDOM TOUR. It’s a story I’ve told countless times, but on this occasion I used a brand new description, one that frankly surprised me as I said it.
RELENTLESS GRACE is a story of God dropping breadcrumbs along a difficult, twisting path. Those crumbs allowed me, years later, to look back and discern in retrospect an unmistakable trail I couldn’t possibly see as I traveled.
Mired in the pain of the details, I couldn’t see the big picture. God left markers, reminders…breadcrumbs…so I’d be able in hindsight to know Jesus was there all along. He didn’t want me to miss the big story of His faithfulness, even when I couldn’t find faith.
RELENTLESS GRACE is a story of hope. I looked back at years of struggle and pain and perceived clear evidence that God is faithful, that He always keeps His promises. That reality changed my perspective. I stopped looking back at the past, allowing my injury and its pain and loss to define me. I began looking forward, expecting God’s faithfulness and promise-keeping to continue.
HOPE: a confident expectation based on faith.
That’s how God helped me discover hope. At just the right moment, 12 years after my injury, He used a handcycle to plant the seed of a crazy dream and give me a reason to look forward. He dropped breadcrumbs so I could see evidence of His faithfulness. That evidence, when I was finally ready to see it, allowed the dream to grow and flourish. The depressed, broken guy who “couldn’t” found the courage to crank a handcycle 1500 miles.
Hope changes what’s possible.
If you’re feeling a bit hopeless, perhaps you could look for breadcrumbs, for the evidence of Jesus’ faithful journey with you over the long haul. And perhaps, when you’re ready, that evidence might help you look to the future with a little more assurance.
When that happens, everything’s different.