Friday, April 15, 2011

When God Puts You in the Sidecar - Laycock

My husband is a motorcycle enthusiast. So far he hasn’t gone out and bought one, but whenever he sees one he likes on the road he’ll point it out and say, “Nice bike,” then look at me to gauge my reaction. We were sitting at a stoplight not long ago and a shiny motorcycle pulled up beside us. It had a sidecar attached.

“There we go,” Spence said.

I laughed, imagining what it would be like to ride in such a little appendage. “I think I’d rather be on the bike with you,” I said, “or better yet, on one of my own.” Sidecars are for kids, I thought. You don’t have any control in a sidecar; you just have to hang on and try to enjoy the ride.

It seems God has put me in a sidecar for a time. I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer and suddenly my life is not mine to control. Doctors are telling me what will happen, when and where I will go. I don’t really want to experience any of what they’re telling me I will go through. But I have no choice. All I can do is hang on and find ways to cope with the ride.

In the book of John, Jesus tells the apostle Peter about a time when the same thing would happen to him. “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” (John 21:18-19)

I don’t know exactly what lies ahead for me. I’m hopeful that this cancer can be eradicated and I’ll go on with my life. I’m praying my time in the sidecar will be short. But perhaps God has another plan. In the meantime, I take encouragement from those few words, “by which Peter would glorify God.” What happened to him was not in vain. It had a purpose. The events of our lives all have purpose and are meant to bring glory to God. We have agency in that, by his grace and mercy, and that fruit will be a blessing not just to others but to us as we journey down that road.

I’m spurred on too, by the next words Jesus spoke. “Follow me!” That’s a path Peter tried hard to take, one that changed him into a man of God, a leader of men. It’s a path that leads to “a spacious place,” (Ps. 18:19), where God’s presence is evident, to the joy that comes in understanding God’s undying love and the peace that makes us lean into the wind and relish every moment on this earth – even moments in the sidecar.

“but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:18-19).

Marcia's devotionals have been widely published and endorsed by Mark Buchanan, Phil Callaway and Sigmund Brouwer. Visit her website -


Peter Black said...

Marcia, I engage that "p" word "poignant" again (I've done so several times recently), in reflection on your post, for it is true.
Your Scripture references to Jesus' words to Peter, and to the encouragements from Psalm 118 accord with your positive God-focused attitude.
Thank you for the inspiration.

violet said...

What a good analogy for the place you find yourself in right now. Our dependence on God sure hits us hard in times like you are going through, doesn't it? However, the truth is that each one of our lives is as vulnerable as yours seems to you at this time. Will be praying for all aspects of your health - physical, emotional, and spiritual - in the days ahead.

Bible League said...

My thoughts are with you. The sidecar is a great analogy and I plan to use it, if that's okay with you. I ofter tell other to follow the path of God and they'll live the best life possible.

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