Isaiah 40:31 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.
Having a small crisis of faith, I picked up my Bible and headed out to the veranda. “Lord, I really need to hear from you, please speak to me,” was the prayer of my heart. But before I even opened the blessed pages, my attention became distracted from the intended reading. It was, however, in this distraction that the gentle voice of of my Father spoke to my doubting heart.
Not far from the veranda is a palm tree which is home to a crow family. For three days the crow babies have been trying to fledge and it is instructive to watch them. Tentatively one or two of the three will awkwardly amble out on the fronds of their lofty home, stretching and flapping their young wings yet never letting go of the security of the familiar. The former protective necessity of the nest is now a hindrance to their growth and development – it is time for them to leave. But no amount of coaxing or cajoling from Mom and Dad seems persuasive enough to get them to take that first step. One parent will lightly glide to the next, very nearby palm as if to say, “See how easy that is?” I imagine this to be the Mom. The other parent boldly soars back to the nest in a great flourish of twisting dives as though saying, “See how much fun this can be!” Undoubtedly this is the Dad. It is comical to watch and yet I see myself in these timid baby crows.
The first steps of trusting faith can be very painful. I want to cling to the familiar and resist the unknown, the unproven. Tentatively I let go and learn to soar on wings of faith and yet the Father says, “Go higher.” Fearfully I try to expand and strengthen my wings but a gust of wind takes me off guard shaking my confidence. An enemy swoops in on my tail; a landing branch is not as sturdy as estimated; the winds seem contrary to my desired progress. Often I become faint at the distance of the journey. Overcome by fightings and fears from within and without I feel myself faltering.
A few days ago I watched a family of beautiful and powerful vulturine fish eagles high in the sky on what must have been their own fledging day. It was the panicked cries of one of the young ones which initially got my attention. As I watched what seemed like helpless fluttering wings, one parent swiftly soared under the faltering fledgling and gently helped her regain her composure. All she needed was a little confidence, some loving reassurance, that she is well equipped to soar the heights.