Words by Cole Ragsdale
Growing up, my Dad owned a 1986 CJR Jeep Wrangler. It was a thing of beauty…a scorched brown, foreign import tires, bikini top, no doors, and an old school American eagle tire cover. Needless to say, it was the “baddest” set of wheels on the road. I loved to ride around the neighborhood with my Dad with the doors off, the wind embracing my entire body.
While all the rides in the jeep with my dad were special, I’ll never forget the day that he threw me the keys and said, “Get in the Jeep”. My 13-year-old self (yeah, I know) got a little hesitant & anxious. I obviously didn’t have my drivers license, the jeep was a 4 speed manual, and my feet didn’t reach the pedals. Regardless, my dad wasn’t nearly as concerned with the apparent obstacles as he was about our time together. After he insisted, I jolted upstairs and grabbed my pillow to bridge the gap between my feet and those rusty pedals. I approached the brown beast and pulled myself into the driver’s seat ready for the adventure that was to come. I felt like the king of the world.
While it may not have been the wisest thing to allow a 13 year-old behind the wheel of a 4x4 vehicle, that day that my Dad communicated to me a lot more than, “hey you can drive today”. Here is what I really heard:
- I believe IN you.
- I am WITH you.
- I am FOR you.
A lot of the time, I feel like God is throwing me the keys to different adventures in my life and telling me to get in the Jeep. But that 13-year-old in me rears its head and says but look at your circumstances, abilities, and resources and tell God that I’m not tall enough to reach the pedals. Despite my babbling, God insists and we go on the adventure together and He reminds me:
I believe IN you - you are my workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which I prepared beforehand so that you would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:20)
I am WITH you - I, myself, goes before you and I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.(Dueteronomy 31:8)
I am FOR you - What then will you say in response to this? If I am for you, who can be against you? (Romans 8:31)
I think a lot about that old jeep and all the great memories that I had in it with my Dad because every adventure we went on was always worth it. So regardless of where you’re at in life, the next time that God throws you the keys…get in the Jeep.