W I N G S
“Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest” Ps. 55:1-8
The psalmist speaks of his great difficulty, distress and dependence on the Lord, and also his desire for deliverance. The desire to soar. Mankind has always wanted to fly. “Oh that I had wings.” You have wings, I have wings, all of God’s children have wings. Very few ever experience their development, and never enjoy exercising them fully. Wings are used as protection, an umbrella of loving care. They also propel us to victory and greater glory in Christ.
PROTECTION: I think of how Jesus wept over Jerusalem shortly before going to the cross. He said, “Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” – Mt. 23:37. How tenderly He expressed the warmth, comfort and safety of His care for His people. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. Surely He will deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. Under His wings shall you trust. He shall be thy shield and buckler” Ps. 91:1-4.
“Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings” Ps. 36:5-7. “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me” Ps. 57:1-2. “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.” Ps. 61:2-4.
How swift, powerful and faithful God is to fly to our rescue. What a privilege we have that we, as birds of like feather, can flock together. Safe is our refuge, sweet is our rest. Yet may it be remembered that it is under His wings that we are to realize the development of our own. The ability to rise and reign develops in us as we become more and more dependent upon Him. By realizing that our citizenship is in heaven, we in Christ are heavenly creatures.
PROPULSION: “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” Isa. 40:28-31. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” Rom. 8:35-37.
Shall we not rise and reign and experience the reality of these powerful and precious scriptures? A key to victorious living is always being mindful that we are objects of His everlasting love, to remember that every victory we enjoy is only, and always, through Him. Read I Cor. 15:57-58, and II Cor. 2:14-15. Rejoice, “All things” are there in our experiences for our overcoming rather than our defeat or discouragement. Sent for our learning, these cause us to realize the use and development of our wings.
Through Moses, God told the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagle’s wings and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” Ex. 19:4-6. “For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings” Deut. 32:9-11. As we think of all the loving care that God manifested toward believing Israel, it touches our hearts to consider the wonderful works for and in us in the New Creation.
We seem to be very lazy creatures. We adopt a rut, get comfortable, and stay there. It is much easier we think, to let the rain of troubles wash around us than to rise above them. We simply go in the direction of the new rut caused by the rain. Only when the Lord causes it to flood, and we are close to drowning, do we have the courage to take wing.
I think of Job, what a powerful, noble and influential man he was before his trial. Job 29:18, “Then said I, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.” Though he had reached a high plateau (the world would say he had “arrived”), God wanted Job to move higher. We also are prone to get complacent, satisfied with our stage of growth. We become so settled in our “nest” that unless the Lord stirs us up we would never use our God-given ability to rise and reign. Brothers and sisters, no matter the situation, or how hard the trial, we have wings.
God used the actions of the mother eagle to illustrate what he had done to cause the Israelites to aspire to that which is higher. The eagle builds her nest high on the rocks, over a cliff. She uses twigs and thistles and lines it with down. The eaglets stay comfortable and safe. Then there comes a time when the eaglets must learn to fly. The eagle “stirs up the nest,” taking out the down. This uncovers the thorns and sharp twigs, making it uncomfortable. She flutters over her young as if to say “Wouldn’t you like to fly? Rise above the uncomfortable nest, I will help you.” She pushes them out of the nest then swoops beneath them and “”bears them on her wings.” All that Israel knew in Egypt was how to use the shovel, to serve. God pushed them out into the wilderness and taught them to survive, to use the sword. Training for the time to come in Canaan to use the sceptre. He was preparing them to ride upon their high places.
For us, our ruts begin to close in on us, and our little world suddenly becomes uncomfortable. The Lord encourages us to take wing out of these confining surroundings, with full assurance that He will be there to help us. Full provision has been made for our development. He makes us more than conquerors. We, however, make the final decision. We may become bitter or better. We may sour or soar.