Eagles’ Wings

Stained glass window at Little Gidding, Cambridgeshire, England, serendipitously discovered in a back room.

I often feel so completely unequal to the dreams and visions that God stirs in my heart. That is, until I remember that my best bet is to continually pray that I would be ‘small enough and weak enough’ that He could actually use me, rather than bumbling around in His way in my own ‘capable-ness’. The biggest blessings in my life have come from my weakest moments; the richest seasons have been when the Lord Himself was my only light and I could but creep forward slowly, often painfully, by His grace. I actually find myself thinking rather wistfully at times upon those dark days because of the treasures that came out of them. But why am I so quick to forget? So eager to try to run out and make perfect the world around me rather than, as T.S. Eliot says, ‘make perfect [my] will’?

Elrond, the Elven King had some very stirring things to say about being ‘up to’ our unique calling:

“The road must be trod, but it will be very hard. And neither strength nor wisdom will carry us very far upon it. This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

My most-read devotion of Oswald Chambers’ is July 6th. (I keep a permanent bookmark there!) It always snaps me back into the realities of suffering’s beauty:

God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way…The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be. Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision. Don’t lose heart in the process. If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not be weary,
They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40: 30, 31

The Lord bless you all today on your completely unique, completely individual adventures of following Him!
originally published 2006 on YLCF

9 Responses to “Eagles’ Wings”

  1. Claudia Adams says:

    I really needed that bit of refreshing of the soul today. Thank you for sending it out .I was just reading Joel 2:7(b)-8….”they march each on his own way, they do not swerve from their paths. They do not jostle one another, each marches in his path.” I often find myself crawling or fainting rather than marching!! Thank you for the refreshing words..love you

  2. Catherine says:

    I haven’t the words to express how deeply your post touched my heart and soul, but I will express my utmost gratitude to you for your encouragement…this post spoke volumes, and you seem to have known just what I needed to hear at this time in my life. God bless you, Lanier…God bless you!

    Love to you,

  3. Stephanie says:

    This is a precious reminder. I have been a bit overwhelmed by the great changes coming my way. Change is not necessarily a bad thing; one must move forward. I just feel a bit weary and concerned when I think of all ahead. I will try to remember Isaiah 40:31 when I think of what lies ahead.

  4. Elisabeth says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this – it’s truly beautiful and SUCH a lovely encouragement … especially today!

  5. Elaine says:

    “If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.”

    I read this post again this morning, and the sentence jumped right out at me. How comforting, scary, exhilerating, and grounding–all at once!

    As Mr. Beaver noted, “Safe? Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

    Thanks, Lanier.

  6. July 6 is the only entry that has a permanent sticky in my copy of MUFHH. September 12 would be a very close second for me.

    Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  7. Camille says:

    Thank you for posting this blog. Our culture has, in so many ways, lost the adventurous pilgrimage of Christianity that the saints of old experienced, and I pray that God would give me the strength and intuition to hear His voice, to recognise His voice, to understand His voice, and finally to be strong enough to obey His voice.

  8. Thank you for sharing this, Lanier!

    I think that’s why writing is such a gift — because when we’ve come through the valley, we’re able to look back and realize how God has been shaping us for His vision.

    Everything moves at such a fast pace today — yet writing forces us to slow down and ponder. I love the Chinese proverb: “He who writes tastes life twice.” Yes, the sorrows … but oh yes, the joys as well!

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