I had lunch yesterday with Virginia, a delightful woman who has traveled all over the world, but lately made her home in Rwanda for one year. She and her husband helped to build wells to provide clean water to Rwandans- so that women wouldn’t have to travel 4+ hours away to get murky, muddy water to cook and wash, among other provisions of having a clean water well nearby…Someone asked Virginia what word God was giving her, and she reached down into her pocket looking for something. She finally found it and pulled out the picture of “her”. It was a lady eagle perched on a tree and stretching her wings while looking down at Virginia, sitting on her back porch, the Rwandan blue sky in the background. The lady eagle came to visit her often while she was out sipping tea. Virginia said something about, “stretching your wings and flying” that caught my heart… She’s probably in her late 70’s and still longs to “stretch her wings and fly”. She captivated me with her passion and her tender smile as she said that.
Eagles are beautiful indeed. I saw 7 of them soaring and gliding smoothly in the skies of northwest arkansas during a young adults retreat a couple of years ago. At that time, God gave me a similar word like Virginia’s, to “spread my wings and fly”. I saw them unafraid, confident that the wind was under their wings and it would push them up or hold them almost still in one spot. The green hills below them never dared to think that the eagles would just fall off from the sky. The eagles were trusting their Creator to do what they were made for: fly. They got their wings from Him. They got their good portion of wind every day. He charted their way to fly. Sometimes with their wings flapping gently, sometimes with them almost still, gliding away. I think sometimes I barely believe that I can fly, so then I end up just flapping my wings despairingly & not concentrating on flying, but instead on not falling. There’s a difference.
I don’t believe that the only person we disappoint, when we don’t fly like we were made to, is ourself. When we are blessed to fly, it is not just for us, it is to teach others to fly. Whatever God has suited you with, it’s never just for you, it’s for you to make Him look good, and for you to bless others. If He gives you trials & consolation, it is for you to console others. If He gives you money, it is for you to alleviate another. If He gives you encouragement, love, attention, affection, it is never just for you to keep. If He gives you bread, go feed another. So, if eagles are meant to fly, don’t just sit there and not fly.