On Eagle’s Wings

There are times when we feel completely spent and have to be carried by others. It isn’t pleasant. It goes against all our notions of being adult and independent, humbles our pride and makes us realise how little control we actually have over our own life, let alone what goes on around us. Interestingly, Isaiah does not see this in negative terms. He links the experience of being carried, of renewing our strength, to the Lord’s understanding (cf Isaiah 40.25–31), while in the gospel, Jesus invites us to find rest in him (Matthew 11.28–30). There is clearly more to this than mere relaxation of effort.

I think one of the important lessons of Advent is that we are not in charge. No amount of effort on our part is going to make what we will come about. On the other hand, co-operating with grace will bring about what the Lord desires; and there’s the rub. So often there is a gap between our desires and the Lord’s. If we’re honest, we don’t always like the way the Lord orders things and secretly cherish alternative views about how matters should be arranged. I daresay Establishment figures in first-century Palestine were not too thrilled at the idea of salvation coming from what, on the surface, must have seemed a most unusual family situation. Even today, most of us probably have strong opinions about what the Church should be or do and are rather annoyed that others don’t necessarily see things the same way. Time to think about those eagle’s wings again, I suggest.

Video footage taken from an eagle in flight is fascinating. It gives a completely different view of the ground below. I hope it is not too fanciful to say that Advent can give us a new perspective on life, but we have to be willing to allow it, to let the scriptures appointed to be read at this season shape our understanding and let our inner eye focus on our goal.

P.S. Red kites, as pictured above, are a familiar sight round here.

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4 thoughts on “On Eagle’s Wings”

  1. Thank You !
    So often we want to be in control and are lost , feeling rudderless unless we are .
    Just reflecting on the events of 2020 should show us how little we can control .
    Surrender and patience , difficult disciplines for us all .
    As we seek that new perspective , this season brings ,I have found it helpful to retrace my lockdown walks . How much more I have experienced the joy of noticing His creation when I have let go ! Asked Him to show me His
    perspective ,intentionally relinquishing my own .

    One such perhaps unrelated time but worth sharing .Finding a sturdy tree , feeling the strength as I leant against it . His strength ,But a softening and yielding to His love at my front .
    Fanciful, perhaps , but a slowing down , a resting, an allowing that new perspective that Advent can bring , if we are open to it … Precious!

    Reply
  2. Just lovely. Thank you . To float like a bird … Such wonderful readings. God is in charge. God loves us. His warm wings envelop us … We’ll go on trying not to let Him down.

    Reply
  3. I love that hymn, too. I was allowed to choose the hymns when I was received into full communion, and that was one. Most if not all of the crucial decisions in my life have been taken not in the way I thought right – e.g. the mere fact of learning German, which I did not want at all, set the points, so that I met my future husband, and eventually ended up living in Germany – and I could go on. I was one of those women of whom others say, quasi critically, „ She‘s very capable!“
    I have learnt, though, that being carried by God is actually much more relaxing than hacking one‘s way through the undergrowth alone, so now I try hard not to be too capable. Nothing to prove here!

    Reply

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