This picture is of me learning to take flight in my life. I have recently returned from serving overseas in the Philippines. Kids International Ministries is a wonderful mission devoted to loving the less fortunate and furthermore breaking the cycle of poverty.
Here we had the opportunity to feed local children twice each day at different locations. This location is called the “Happy Place” and ironically is at a large trash dump. These beautiful children probably would have gone hungry that day if we had not visited and fed them.
The children are excited to see us and know the drill. They come running up with a cup, bowl, or bag for us to fill with piping hot food prepared at the mission by a team of dedicated women. It was pure joy on my part to have a small part in filling each cup for them that day. The beauty I saw in their eyes reflected the love of Jesus.
Today my morning devotion confirmed on my heart that I have taken flight in my life. Unsteady, and unsure sometimes, for sure, but definitely in flight. I pray this touches you in some way and you lean into what God has in store for your journey.
The bird who dares to fall is the bird who learns to fly”
This is a famous, seemingly anonymous quote which packs a punch! Birds often learn to fly by being kicked out of the nest by their parents. Sometimes they are even allowed to just free fall, with the parent swooping under them at the last minute to save them from plunging to the ground. Eagles are commonly known to practice this technique with their young. The eaglet is repeatedly pushed out of the nest and falls, flapping desperately until their parent catches them on their wings and takes them back up to the nest. This is repeated over and over as the eaglet’s desperate flapping becomes more and more intentional and effective, until suddenly, they’re flying!
The point is though, that in order for that bird to learn to fly, they must dare to fall. They must take the risk and step into the unknown to try in the first place. That stomach churning moment we feel when we step off the edge of the abseiling wall, or jump from the plane, or stand on a stage to sing for the first time, is the moment we need to learn to embrace! It represents taking new ground, advancing in our gifts, and stepping into a new season. We are done being fed in our nice warm nests; it’s time to step out and fly!
We can get so attached to our nests – or to the easy comfort of our sofas – that we don’t want to step out onto the mountainside that awaits us. We are quite happy to veg out and watch TV, not realizing that as we do, our muscles and ‘wings’ are not developing as they should. The longer we go without stepping out, the less effective our wings will be when we eventually decide that maybe we should be flying, doing what we were created for, since we are, after all, a bird!
There are promises in the Bible to encourage us to take risks. Today’s verse promises that He will restore us so that we may live in His presence. He also promises that as surely as the sun rises, He will appear, and come to us like winter rains. There is no down-side to these promises.
A bird doesn’t have an identity crisis when standing at the edge of the nest. It may feel afraid to step into the unknown and do something new, but there are some truths in which it can always find security. There is no doubt that it has wings, and certainly no doubt whether or not it is a bird.
When God speaks to us about His will in our lives, we, too, can find security. We do not find it in ourselves, but in the truths we know about His identity and character. In God, we can be confident in what we hope for, and have assurance in what we do not see – that He will catch us if we fall. He will not let us plunge to our deaths!
When we decide to step out of the nest, it is a risk. There may be a moment after we have stepped out in faith, when we feel like we’re free-falling! But He’s right next to us, His eye is on us, and He will swoop in and save us when we need it, as long as that is His perfect will for our lives. This is where the following phrase is useful:
“Do not let the fear of what you see, shake the faith in what you’ve heard”!
The important thing to remember is that we may have a very different perspective on exactly when we need to be saved. So many of us have felt abandoned by God, wondering why He hasn’t yet swooped in and stopped our free-fall. We can’t understand why He has left us to plummet to an inevitable death. But God sees the size of the mountain far more accurately than we do. He shaped it and formed it, and He was the one who placed us there.
This is why we can be confident. God knows that one day we’ll be jumping from our nests and learning to fly from the precipice. He can see the height. He knows when and where the shadows will be. He sees it all. We can be confident that when God has spoken, we can have hope in the future, and assurance in all that we’ve yet to see.
Being Awakened is all about understanding more about who God is, and therefore more about who we are, and therefore more about what our calling, giftings and callings are.