Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Recently I came across a quote from a woman named Gladys Aylward:

"The eagle that soars in the upper air does not worry itself how it is to cross rivers."

I don't know the intent or the context of her quote; some would argue that this is simply a practical statement of fact - if you fly, you don't have to worry about the details of maneuvering over or around earth-bound obstacles. Others might see this as the essence of faith - when enabled to fly you shouldn't worry about all of the details of how and why you are doing so, or what it is that lies below.

If you are the eagle, it is a practical statement because flying is your thing, it is what you do. However, if your primary means of transport is walking, and yet you are enabled to fly, well - then it is truly a matter of faith. Most of us aren't eagles - we aren't even birds, and acting in ways contrary to our nature can be tricky. It is one thing to fly when you have the inate ability to soar for miles without moving your wings, simply riding the currents and enjoying the view; it is quite another thing to jump off and not worry about crash landing, or getting picked off by some larger predator that calls the air currents home.

We are earth dwellers who are generally not gifted with the natural ability to fly. Yet by faith we are enabled to fly, to "soar on wings like eagles" (Isaiah 40:31). Should we choose (that choice thing again) to keep our feet firmly planted we cannot fly. If we have faith enough to fly, the Lord promises to sustain us. Of course, knowing this and acting on it are what differentiate us as Christians...the most vibrant Christians I have known are those that have "flown" in their faith.

I am not saying that we must all leave the ground to know Him, but when we step out -or up- in our faith and let Him sustain us, we get to see things from a different perspective; a higher one that is maybe a bit closer to His. Me? I'm like a canary with clipped wings, making a lot of noise and jumping around a bit now and then but rarely taking full flight.

Some of you are saying - and rightfully so - that we don't all share the same gifts; some of us are better equipped to swim than fly. But if you think about it, swimming takes similar movements to flying - you're just moving through a much more humid environment.

Heavenly Father, please help us to overcome our attraction to this earth so that we are willing to look up and leap into your arms of sustaining grace. We love you and we praise you for your protection and provision while loved ones have been serving you, both nearby and far from home. Thank you for loving even the emu and ostrich, and the canaries with the clipped wings.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

Brad

6 Comments:

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brad-what a beautiful writing this morning...may we all "fly" in the way that God would have us today.....Amen

 
At 9:57 AM, Anonymous On Our Knees... said...

Amazing how God gives us additional little notes connecting our days in His word, studying, praying, & seeking Him. I have been doing a new book in the evenings with my children on Heroes of the Faith...guess who we just finished??! Yep, Gladys.

Thanks for your part of His work Brad!

Amy...is your family part of the cruise ship group that Cnn just reported? Continue to keep you and them in our prayers. Also, esp. for your dad as he continues to care for your grandma. Protection, peace, and calm.

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

Thank you for the visual that you gave me this morning Brad.
I think this is also true with worship, so many of us wait at the doors of the outter courts, waiting for an invitation into the Holy of Holies. When in reality all it takes is true worship, nothing on your agenda but to bless the heart of our King, no list of prayer requests, wants or desires, but to just bless His socks off, so to speak.
So many of us would find we "do" have those wings to soar, if only we would spend (time) to worship Him.
May we each have a passion to bless the heart of God in true worship, and the faith to fly where He chooses to take us.

In His Love
Linda

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger NatenAmy said...

Hi Everyone--

Just wanted to chime in and say that today's lesson was WONDERFUL, Brad. I pray that God will give me the strength to FLY for Him and with that the courage to actually take my feet off this earth and focus heavenward... I think that I am often times a canary too! :D

Just a quick update on my family, as I have had quite a few people asking. I was able to speak with my mom today and she said that it was a pretty "peaceful day". The few bombs that did fall were mostly in Southern Lebanon and not in Beirut where my parents live.

For those of you who do not know, I am actually Lebanese (well 1/2 Lebanese and 1/2 South African to be exact), and so my parents are not eligible to leave the country on the cruise ships provided by the USA and England because they are not citizens of those countries. Thankfully, I do have some other family that are American, Canadian, and British citizens that will hopefully be able to leave sometime early tomorrow morning or on Thursday. The plan right now is that my sister, brother, and mother will leave Lebanon as soon as they can via the Damascus road if no other way becomes available. That is obvioulsy the MOST dangerous way to leave as Israel has been targeting that road consistantly since all of this began.

So, the specific prayer request is that another way to travel out of Lebanon will be provided for my sister, brother, and mom and that the rest of my extended family will be able to leave safely tomorrow. Also please pray for all of the civilians in Southern Lebanon (amd those in Israel too). There is a big Christian school down there and quite a few of our friends are stranded there and have no way of getting to Beirut to be evacuated. Just pray for God's hand in all of this... even when the World is in turmoil the comfort is that His peace abounds and that He is in control no matter what!

Thank you so much for your prayers, they have lifted me in desperate times of worry and my family says they feel them even in the midst of turmoil.

We are blessed!

All our love,

Amy and Nate too!

 
At 10:07 PM, Blogger Danzeisen5 said...

Brad, I just want to say thank you so much for your beautiful writings during the last few weeks! You are truly a gifted writer (like your brother!!) and I hope that you can continue to write some even when Brent and Deanna come back. You have blessed me more than you know in new ways! I'm proud of the way you have let God use you and speak through you - He has gifted you greatly!

Amy, I am SO sorry to hear about your family and we will be praying hard for them to escape safely! They will be in our constant thoughts.

I love you
Lynae

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

I cannot even put together all these thoughts about "flying" and "fleeing" in the beautifully creative way I'd like. I'm speechless just reading Amy's words. Watching it on CNN just doesn't compare to hearing of individual families endangered by all the unrest. The discouragement that I've had today seems so "light and momentary" compared to this. I'm praying and hurting for all those involved. Lord Jesus, bring Your Peace--quickly, and watch tenderly over all those who travel the roads from afar during these days.

I second Lynae's thoughts and thank you again for your faithful words over the past 6 weeks, Brad. I bet you're looking forward to signing in on THIS side of the site for a change!

I'm definitely a canary--actually, more like a timid little sparrow whom God has relentlessly pushed over the edge of the nest over and over again as He teaches her to mount up with wings as eagles!

blessings in Him,

Marti

 

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