Going nowhere fast – or going further?

We bought a stationary trainer when Murray was riding mountain bike stage races and there weren’t hours in his days and weeks to train in the great wide open. We had no idea it would one day be a keystone of our family’s sanity during a nationwide lockdown.

Earlier this week, Murray put on very loud worship music to blow out the back of our brains with liberating truth. He unpacked the dishwasher. Scott threw a tennis ball against a wall. Cam put on the boxing gloves and zealously attacked the punching bag. It was my turn on the stationary trainer.


I pedalled and had a good cry as Bethel reminded me –

I know Your thoughts, Your plans, for me are good

I know You hold my future and my hope

Your promises never fail…

I am standing on every promise that You make

I will see it come to pass in Your name, in Your name

Jesus I will trust every word I hear You say

I will see it come to pass in Your name, in Your name

Because right now we’re living life on a stationary trainer. No matter how hard we pedal and how much we sweat, we’re going nowhere.


Which is why I was glad (in a weepy sort of way) to be reminded of God’s unfailing promises like –

He will provide (Philippians 4:19). None of His purposes can be thwarted (Job 42:2). He knows the end from the beginning (Revelation 1:8). He recorded all our days before one of them came to pass (Psalm 139:16). He will fulfil His purposes for our lives; He won’t abandon us, because He made us (Psalm 138:8). And even the good deeds done in secret – in the isolation of our homes – will someday come to light (1 Timothy 5:35).

I remember Murray saying how riding his bike for nine days (à la Joburg2c) or even just three days (Sani2c) wasn’t heroic at all. If anything, it was pretty selfish. All he had to worry about was himself. No responsibilities other than eating, sleeping, laughing, pedalling in the wonder of the wilderness. It takes heroes to stay home. Not just during a lockdown, but during life. Heroes do the secret good deeds.

So while I biked myself to a standstill in exactly the same place burning boring, unconstructive calories, I thought about God’s upside-down way of doing things. And how maybe, while the world stands still, we’re all going somewhere – and going far further, and much deeper, than we might ever have imagined.


Because sure, for those of us who live with people we like, this time of enforced quiet-and-slow-together is an unprecedented gift. But still, in so many ways – critically or just preferentially – our hands are tied. And fear and frustration will stretch our faith into unchartered soul territory. Maybe even turn us into heroes.

So, let’s trawl the Word for promises. Underline them and write ‘2020 Pandemic Promise’ in the margin, so we can look back in years to come and see how God took us barefoot down new gravel paths so we could discover a grittier faith. ‘I will see it come to pass in Your name, in Your name…’

Let’s decide, as John Mark Comer says, that this is not a time to escape, but a time to encounter the living God. A time to stare down the evil one, and our own out-of-whack emotions. A time to let go of whatever idols we’ve been clutching and run to Jesus with empty hands, because He’s enough.

. . .

Happy, happy, happy Easter! He is risen, and we’re free indeed!

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  1. Thank you for your honesty, I love getting a glimpse into your family life during a time that we’re all doing things differently. Thanks for the encouragement, that this situation doesn’t surprise God or change His nature towards us. A blessed Easter to you and your family xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Dalene I have just read your latest post and cried! Thank you for being real, for being honest and for putting that to paper because it is helpful, insightful and so encouraging to me right now. Just thought I would tell you!

    Appreciate you! Belinda


    Liked by 1 person

  3. And yes. If I didn’t have my Peloton bike, I would have ripped all my hair out by now. We’re just finishing month 3 of lockdown with no end in sight. Thank goodness for indoor equipment!


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