“You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.”
–Exodus 19:4 (NLT)
Do you remember the Tom Petty song “Free Fallin'”? One line tells how the singer wants to fall away from what he sees as an empty existence, and leave the world behind for a while. Unfortunately, this lyric mirrors the sentiment of many people. But if this world seems empty to you, I want to tell you things don’t have to be that way. God wants to fill the vacuum in your life, if you will let Him.
In the hospital where I am a chaplain, I like to tell patients that God loves them in spite of what they are going through. From time to time they ask a question which you may be asking right now: “If God loves me so much, then why am I facing such hard times?”
Without a doubt, some things are difficult to understand, and while I don’t pretend to have all the answere, I know someone who does. If you’re going through loss, grief or pain, God has a special word for you today. In a world of technological upgrades and sensationalism, the message He gave to the children of Israel is still relevant. Sometimes we get caught between a rock and a hard place, and it would seem that there is no way out.
If you’re like me, you will begin making your own plans instead of trusting in God. I’m trying to get better about looking to God, because I know from His Word that all things are possible to Him, even if they may seem impossible to you and me. When I try to get out of a messy situation by using my own devices, I usually make the mess even bigger. God wants me and you to look at what He can do, instead of what we might conjure up.
In our opening scripture, Egypt is a metaphor for the world. Jesus told us that in this world, we will face troubles. When we read this verse, the sad fact is that most of us stop here. But Jesus tells us to keep going, for he says, “I have overcome the world.” The great news is that the Father tells us the same thing in this scripture. “Look what I have done,” He tells us. “You couldn’t have done it on your own. I have caused you to win, when you couldn’t have won in your own strength.”
“Well,” you might say, “I don’t feel like a winner. It doesn’t look like anything is improving. In fact, things look worse.”
When things appear to be at their darkest, however, God is always working behind the scenes. He reminds all of us that He is carrying us on eagles’ wings.
Let me try and explain what God is saying in this word picture. When a mother eagle is teaching her babies to fly, she pushes them out of their nest. The babies fall straight down, and it looks like they will crash on the rocks below and die. But right about this time, the mother eagle swoops down and carries her brood back to the safety of the nest. This is repeated over and over again, until the little eagles learn that they, too, can fly.
I submit to you that God wants us to fly instead of falter, rising above the everyday problems which we face as we sail on His wings. God knows we will all encounter hard times, but He will never allow us to face them unprotected.
But that isn’t all, for God tells us that He wants to bring us to Himself. Have you ever thought about how amazing this is? Jesus told us that when we come to Him, He will give us rest. He is referring to rest from our own plans, which only bring frustration and heartache.
And so, my friends, I beg you to keep this in mind: Don’t crawl in the mess, but fly in His rest. In other words, when you do fall, fall into His arms, because His comfort is free. Do this by keeping your eyes on Jesus by faith, and you will experience His love in a new way.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, check out our online store at www.amway.com/burdicksbargains.
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext. 874157.