Tuesday, March 27, 2007

TROUBLES: Soaring on Eagle's wings

By Rebekah Montgomery

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they
shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

The Scriptures promises us eagle wings as we wait on God. What does that mean?

Fresh from the egg, the eaglet is covered with down that is excellent
for insulation but useless as an airfoil. He must grow flight feathers
before he can soar.

When we first trust Jesus, we often have "warm fuzzies."
These wonderful, God-given emotions won't empower or sustain. Like
flight feathers, faith matures by learning.

The desire to soar is inborn in the eaglet, but he doesn't know how.
It is a learned skill. He tries. He stands on the edge of the nest and
stretches his wings in response to winds gusts. Occasionally, a breeze
lifts him. It's exhilarating and frightening. His fear is well placed.
Nearly 40 percent of young eaglets do not survive their first flight.

Young Christians intensely love Jesus.
They want to tell everyone about Him. But there is a very real danger:
Their exuberant faith endangers established relationships, which makes
new believers lose their balance.

By eight weeks, the young eaglet's attentive parents hunt almost
continuously to feed him. Even if he could fly, he doesn't know how to
hunt. He stretches to develop his wing muscles, but his heavy body
keeps him grounded.

Hopefully, via mature Christians, the new Christian receives
nourishment from the Word.
They may not know how to study the Bible for themselves but regular
receive teaching.

When the eaglet is between 10- to 13-weeks of age, the parents leave
him alone in the nest. They hover, watching, as he experiences hunger
that they do not gratify. He calls for food, but only rarely, do they
supply a morsel. The youngster grows thinner, his demands for food
more urgent. His parents seem to tease him. They fly past dangling a
meal from their talons, which brings the young eaglet to the edge of
the nest where he beats his wings and screams at his parents.

The proving of faith and lessons in patience now begins.
For the first time, a young Christian may see the failings of more
mature Christians. They may have doubts about God or the Bible.
Problems may come into their life with the question: "Can I trust that
God has my best interests at heart?"

Desperately, the young eagle picks at scraps from dry-up carcasses in
the nest. Occasionally, he pounces, pretending to hunt the way he has
seen his parents snatch prey off the ground.

In times of testing, we review what we have learned.
We may re-examine the Scriptures for shreds of solace. We may
question, "Are these things true? Was my experience with God real? Is
God real? Does He love me? If so, why did He abandon me?"

Alone, shivering, and subdued, the eaglet awaits the morning's warmth.
Seeking heat, he stretches his wings, rising above the nest-then
landing safely in it again. Flapping experiments strengthened his
wings as the days of hunger have lightened his body so he has much
less weight to lift. He doesn't know yet-or even suspect-but he is
ready to fly.

The loneliness of testing has a divine purpose we cannot guess.
It forces us to slough off misconceptions and fantasies about God and
turn our face to the Son. All that remains is trust: "He said it,
therefore I believe Him. I cannot see His love. I cannot see His
purpose, but I trust Him. I will obey Him whatever the outcome." At
these times, we learn to wait upon the Lord by asking, "What do You
want me to do?"

Riding the updraft-daring, luring him to fly-an eagle parent flies by,
dangling a young rabbit. Stretching for food and lifted by the wind,
the eaglet is suddenly airborne, truly flying for the first time in
his life.

If you are patient, at the right time, the Holy Spirit will speak-via
the scriptures, in your heart or mind, through other believers, or by
ordering circumstances-and you will know what God wants you to do. You
will learn to commit your way to Him.

The young eagle sails downward, contracting his wings in fear then
extending them to catch the wind. He has a sudden realization-he knows
how to fly!

Soaring on eagle's wings! This was God's purpose for you all the time!
The time of testing has taught you patience-and how to fly!

Rebekah Montgomery is the editor of Right to the Heart of Women
e-zine, a publisher at Jubilant Press, and the author of numerous
books on spiritual growth. She can be contacted for comments or
speaking engagements at rebekahmontgomery.com

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