I don't do it often.
But when I do, I really enjoy it.
I feel fortunate that I am not inordinately afraid of flying. I am able to suspend my imagination, and block out the seemingly impossible physics of getting humans in the air.
My favorite part?
I love that thrill of acceleration, the sensation of being pressed back into my seat. I love racing down the tarmac.
And then *the* moment…
The plane lifts off the ground and I soar into the sky.
A few weeks ago, I had to travel to the Midwest for some family business. And I was eagerly awaiting the flight. The day before, I carefully
Everything went so smoothly at the airport. We even found out that we were "pre-screened" for the security check, and breezed right past the long line! (Which was great. I didn't have to remove anything, nor subject myself to the invasive x-ray machine!!)
We boarded the plane, taxied down the runway, and took off.
But, a few short moments later the captain's voice came over the loudspeaker:
"We are flying into an extensive storm front. Expect some turbulence for the first hour."
I guess I've had good luck flying. I've never really had a bad flight. For the most part, my flights have been smooth and uneventful.
So, I admit, this caused a flutter in my heart. (Flutter? More like an earthquake! Though you have to be on the ground to feel an earthquake, just sayin'…)
Well, at least he warned us.
And yes, it was quite turbulent. I never had to use the airsick bag, but let's just say that it was a close companion.
But feeling queasy and nauseous wasn't the worst part. The worst part was what the turbulence did in my mind.
Remember me mentioning that ability to "suspend my imagination"? Well, turbulence has a way of splashing a big dose of reality on you really fast. Trust me, I became very aware of this indisputable fact…I was NOT on the ground anymore.
As if I needed that frightful bit of information confirmed (I didn't…ahem), this airline had a little interactive screen you could play around with. And yup, right there at my fingertips was the truth:
Altitude: 38,056 feet.
Ground speed: 554 mph.
Outside temperature: -68 degrees F.
All of a sudden, my illusion of safety and security was invaded by the realities of air flight and the certain knowledge that I was NOT IN CONTROL.
While I was white-knuckling through that first hour, I got to thinking. There had to be some lessons here – (besides the obvious – that flying is not a "natural" state for humans!)
And then, I began to see the many parallels –
Life is kind of like a plane flight.
It can be very exciting. We fly from one adventure to another, sometimes out of breath, often in awe and wonder at the scenery, and fooled by the illusion that we are in control.
Until we hit turbulence.
And all of a sudden, that sense of safety and security comes crashing down and we are confronted with reality.
Life in a broken world is not a "natural" state – we were made to live differently – and in many ways we are careening through our days totally in danger of falling and crashing.
In so many ways, we are totally at the mercy of the whims of circumstance.
Sometimes life makes me queasy and nauseous.
Sometimes panic threatens to overrun my feelings and invade my thoughts.
Sometimes I want "off the plane."
We've all felt this way before, haven't we?
And yet, as the flight settled down, I started to think about some other things. Like how the Bible talks about having eagles' wings.
"...how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles?
...how can you say God ignores your rights?
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint."
(Isaiah 40:27-31, NLT)
Evidently we earth-bound creatures are meant to soar the spiritual heights.
We are not meant to "crash and burn." We are not to be "grounded" in dismay, discouragement, or despair. We are meant to rise up beyond our circumstances, to ascend past our feelings, to fly to the heights of God's purposes – with strength, His strength.
We cannot do this alone.
When turbulence hit our airplane, I was totally at the mercy of the elements.
Except for the excellent training of the pilot. Except for his knowledge of flying, far greater than mine. Except that his hands were firmly on the steering wheel, which is more accurately called a "flight yoke." (Interesting term, huh?! Take His yoke upon you...).
Except for his trustworthiness.
It is the same with God.
He knows all about how to live life, for He created it. He still sits on His throne, and His hands are firmly on each one of us. Steering us, guiding us, uplifting us, teaching us how to fly with Him.
And yes, He is trustworthy.
Some other verses speaking about eagles:
"For [we] belong to the LORD;
[We are] his special possession.
He found them in a desert land,
in an empty, howling wasteland.
He surrounded them and watched over them;
he guarded them as he would guard his own eyes.
Like an eagle that rouses her chicks
and hovers over her young,
so he spread his wings to take them up
and carried them safely on his pinions."
(Deuteronomy 32:9-11, NLT)
So, because we belong to The Eagle, He alone can help us to fly like eagles.
And even though life makes me a bit (a lot??) queasy and nauseous sometimes, even though I often panic when I remember that I am not in control, even when I am living outside of my comfort zone at the mercy of circumstances, even when I want to get "off the plane"…
Even then, I can trust Him to bring me home.
God does whatever it takes
to help eagles fly...
the soft coverings
to remind us,
That this life is painful
and full of
And its solution is to
in spiritual realms.
- Dr. Ram Mehta
September 25, 2014
"Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high? On the rock he dwells and makes his home, on the rocky crag and stronghold." (Job 39:27-28, ESV)
"'You yourselves have seen...how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine...'" (Exodus 19:4-5, NASB)
"'...for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,' says the LORD of Heaven's Armies."
(Malachi 4:2-3, NLT)
"Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle."
(Psalm 103:1-5, NASB)
Do you need the strength of the Lord today to soar like an eagle?
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