The Support of God

St. Michael’s Vicarage

Dear People of Alnwick,

Whilst on a recent course at Church House all the participants were all asked to write down a particularly happy moment that we could recall from our childhood.

My choice was the day I learned to ride my bicycle.

It didn’t come easily. After the stability of a “three-wheeler”, I just couldn’t seem to get my balance. For many Sunday afternoons my Dad ran alongside me with his hand on the seat to steady me but, as soon as I looked behind and saw he had let go, off I would come!

Then, a few weeks later, on another Sunday afternoon, my sister said to me: “If you’d been able to ride your bicycle you could have taken this book to my friend’s house.”

Out came the bike and off I went – albeit in a rather unsteady manner! Was it because of the “challenge” – or was it because I was six months older and had grown a little nearer the pedals? Whatever the reason, I was now more confident and (at least in that department) no longer needed the steadying, reassuring hand of my Father.

But, truth to tell, we all need a little support sometimes.  Someone to hold on to us when the going gets tough, when we’re unsure of our ground, when our confidence fails and we feel ourselves slipping.

And the message from the Bible is that we have such a one in God.

“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’  I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you.”
 (Isaiah 41: 13 & 42: 6)

Across the ages God has reiterated this promise to support us along the journey of life; to stay close by our side so that, in times of crisis, we can rely upon him to keep us safe.

There were moments when I felt I’d never ride my new bicycle.  We all have moments like that.  But, just as my Dad’s steadying hand helped me gain the confidence I needed to stay on two wheels, so the knowledge of God’s constant presence can give us the confidence we need, when we need it.

And so we thank God for his constant guidance throughout our lives: for the reassurance that he is always there to encourage, strengthen and support us.

Just think for a few moments of the times you have found this to be true.  Strength in times of weakness, encouragement in times of fear, support in times of difficulty, faith in times of doubt: all supportive gifts from the One who made us and loves us.

As one modern hymn-writer has put it:

My God loves me, His love will never end.
He rests within my heart for my God loves me.
His gentle hand he stretches over me.
Though storm-clouds threaten the day he will set me free.
My God loves me, his faithful love endures.
And I will live like a child held in love secure.
 (Sandra J. Billington)

With every blessing,



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