Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Strengthen Your Wings, But Rest in the Lord
Her wings move steadily and fiercely. The wind she's creating with her efforts send seeds and feathers everywhere. They lazily float down to the carpet where eventually I'll vacuum them up... but for now, I'm watching her, just a little heartsick as I think of what might be going through her mind.
She's got the desire. She has the strength. She's putting forth the effort. It's a God-given, worthy desire, not something she shouldn't be trying. She's doing everything right.
But it's not time for her to fly yet.
And sometimes, while I watch her, I wonder. What would go on in her little mind if she thought in words?
That one can fly. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough. Maybe something is wrong with me. Maybe, just maybe... I wasn't made to fly. I think that it's something placed in me at my creation, but maybe it's just wishful thinking. Maybe I should be doing something else. Maybe I should give up. When will I learn, I fail to fly?
Does she know? Does she understand?
It's just not time for her to fly.
You see, her wings were shortened so that she could learn a lesson in trust. They were clipped short so that she would be kept safe in a new chapter in her life. It's not anything she's done. She's not a failure. She just needs to wait patiently. She needs to learn to Rest in the fact that we want the best for her. Her wings will grow in time. And when that happens, she'll be able to move further and faster with much less faltering.
She might not see when that will be. As far as her eye can see, she might never fly. She would be totally justified in giving up, and just pulling herself up the walls with her beak forever. Why try when you've failed?
But how dangerous it would be for her to stop exercising those muscles. Because that purpose built into her; it was given by God. To ignore it, it would destroy the future use of that purpose. To give up because that goal didn't reach fruition the first time... or the second... or the tenth... it would mean that she'd never know when the day came and she'd spread her wings... and they were ready. And to refuse to try while it's uncertain would cripple those little muscles that need to be constantly challenged to grow in strength as her wings grow in length, so that on the day those wings are fully grown, she's prepared to soar.
You aren't a failure, Dawn. Your dream isn't worthless. You aren't doing anything wrong. It's just not time yet. You are being held back by someone who loves you, to teach you invaluable lessons that will keep you safe and sure once the lesson is learned. And there will come a day those lessons are grasped and you are given the privilege of moving on, with greater responsibility and even higher purposes as your horizons widen. Because those lessons have prepared you to fly in safety; they were never meant to harm you.
And while I watch her and these thoughts pass through my mind, I find myself thinking that this is not unlike how I am tempted to feel myself at times.
They are moving forward. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough. Maybe I'm not right for this. Maybe, just maybe... I wasn't made to do this. I thought it was a life-purpose that was given me by God for His glory, but maybe it's just wishful thinking. Maybe I'm trying to be someone I'm not. Maybe I should give up. After all, if I'm not getting anywhere, am I not failing?
And maybe I don't know when it will be different. Maybe, I don't know that it will. I might be justified, looking at the surface, to give up. Why try a second, or third, or tenth time?
But how dangerous it would be for me to stop working towards those things laid of my heart to reach for. To deny the fact that those passions to spread God's love are a part of who I am as His daughter, and to refuse the use of them, would not only cripple me, but be the very opposite of bringing Him glory. If I stop living for the purpose He has given, one day I'll miss that opportunity He wants to prepare me for now. If I refuse to take those little actions now that are small imitations of what my heart longs to do for Him, then on that day when the real thing is opened up before me, I won't be ready.
Because before I can be given greater responsibility and even higher purposes, I need to learn lessons in trust. I need to be prepared for the things I will encounter once that time arrives. I need to learn to Rest in the sovereignty of a God who has created me in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that I should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). I need to constantly be preparing myself for the fulfillment of that purpose. But I also cannot force the fruition to happen before the lesson is learned. If a butterfly were to stay in it's cocoon because to leave it is hard, it would never see the light of the sun. But if something were to let the butterfly loose without a struggle, it would not have the strength to face the life it has been given to live.
"The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands." Psalm 138:8