Freedom in Christ–With Wings like Eagles

eagles soaring

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. 

(Isaiah 40:31)

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Trees were falling, broken and wounded. The machine, crushing through a densely wooded area, dropping pines and poplars in its path, shifted forward—but, then, suddenly stopped, idling in neutral, before one dead and worthless tree, leaving it standing, as the engine roared and the machine moved ahead, felling more trees.

In the early evening, when the machine rested, an eagle came and perched at the top of this one tree that stood out against the small buffer line remaining of the once dense woods. Perhaps, there had been a nest in a nearby tree that was taken for harvesting. No nest was visible now, no eaglets ready to be born. The eagle, majestic atop the barren tree, seemed to stare intently at the surrounding land, surmising the loss. It remained in this lofty position for what seemed a lengthy time before it, finally, let go of its hold and flew away, not looking back.

eagle in dead tree

Watching this scene from the drive by my home, it felt like I was viewing a symbolic enactment: The bald eagle, our national emblem, surveying the devastation; trees felled by a machine; a nest of baby eaglets possibly destroyed; nature harvested for money; beauty salvaged without conscience; a young man with goggles, vision somewhat blurred, maneuvering a machine capable of destroying the present and the future; man, the driving force behind it all. It seemed like a warning, one that we have disregarded with careless neglect and indifference to the negative effects we can impose on our present and our future worlds.

As I watched this scene play out, I recalled another warning that was unheeded:

34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Luke 13:34-35)

A disregarded warning, affecting both the present and the future–Jerusalem was destroyed.

And what of America? Will we continue to care more about money and greed than our young and our unborn? Will we not tend and nurture this world which God gave to us as its caretakers? Will we allow technology to blur our moral conscience? Will we continue to disregard the offer of Jesus to come onto Him, to follow Him, to obey Him, to allow Him to take us under His arms of protection?  Do we, in this country, have this same rebuke: “You were not willing.” Will we, in this country, have this same end: “Look, your house is left to you desolate.”

 “The eagle represents freedom. Living as he does on the tops of lofty mountains, amid the solitary grandeur of Nature, he has unlimited freedom, whether with strong pinions he sweeps into the valleys below, or upward into the boundless spaces beyond.” ¹

We, too, can have freedom in Jesus who set us free from a dead tree, the cross. On this Fourth of July, a day designated to remember and celebrate our independence, let us pray that we will not merely perch and sit and sit in a worried state of mind over the fate of this nation, but let us instead, like the eagle who did not dwell in that dead tree, take action, move forward, and “mount up with wings like eagles…run and not be weary…walk and not faint.” We are the ones who can make positive changes in our world, through our daily walk with the Lord, who did not stay on the tree but arose and yet lives that we might be free.

 ¹ baldeagleinfo.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/03/16) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Placing our Trust in the Lord

trust God with all your heart

 (5) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
(6) in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight. 

(Proverbs 3:5-6)

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The Trust Test: You must fall straight backward, trusting that the person behind you will have your back, catch you, and not let you fall. Will you take the test?
In Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, the teacher Morrie Schwartz asks his students to do this exercise. No one volunteers until one girl steps forward and takes the test, falling backward with her eyes fully closed. Others who have witnessed this trusting action then follow her example and pass the test.

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Blind trust is a difficult kind of faith to have in our society today. Is the image we see real or virtual? Is the picture a photo shop rendition or real? Is the politician truthful when he/she states a position or is it one that transitions with the majority’s beliefs at the time?

Trust, however, is a crucial element in any relationship. Without it, there can be feelings of uncertainty, fear, tension, stress, hurt, anger—and a broken relationship that falls to pieces when the person you place trust in does not have your back. The Word teaches us to only completely trust in God with an unwavering faith:
(Isaiah 41:10) “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
(Psalm 28:7) “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”

God is the only One who will never let us down. He will be there to catch us when we place our trust fully in Him. In fact, He will not only hold us up and not let us fall, but He will give us the ability to soar:

(28 )Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
(29) He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
(30) Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
(31) but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40: 28-31)

Let us trust completely in our God, fall back on His promises to sustain us, and know with complete faith that He will never leave us. Blind trust in God, the One Who gives us His Light to direct our paths, is the faith we must have on our journey through this life in order to reach our true home with Him. Through this blind trust, we can block out the other diversions, distractions, and temptations in life to focus completely on God, the One Who will support us through every trial, every heartache, every loss, every fear, and every step.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 01/31/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word