Archive for February, 2012

We cannot see the forest for the trees.

Saturday, February 25th, 2012


Mark 1: 9-15
As Jesus was coming out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open, and the spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came down from heaven, You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased”.

What a glorious picture.

But then the very next verse: “The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness for forty days amongst the wild animals and being tempted by Satan”.

What is going on here? If it was us, looking through our eyes the response of “this is not what I signed on for” might come to mind.

Thankfully Jesus is not of our ilk. Make no mistake; Jesus felt the temptation, felt pain, hunger and thirst as we do. But because his focus was God the Father, he gave himself to his Father’s will-whatever the cost.

In the wilderness, Jesus’ successful struggle against temptation prefigures His final victory on the cross. From the days of Adam and Eve, we have continually fallen into Satan’s traps .But Jesus after having united Himself with fallen human beings through His Baptism, won a preliminary victory over the evil foe’s temptations. At the cross, Jesus gained an even more wonderful victory over the devil’s temptations, and in His resurrection we see his power broken once and for all.

Jesus, with his eyes on the Father-walked to the cross for us-for our salvation, because his focus was on the will of The Father.

You will remember that in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus sweats blood. Sweating blood is a medical condition that can happen when under enormous pressure. This is the pressure Jesus is under, but he achieves His Fathers will because His focus is His Father. His life was not cluttered up with other “stuff”.

When I worked in the bank, a man after desperately trying to keep the family home, after going through the heart break that all he had worked for was going to be taken away- came in, threw the keys to the manger and said-finally it’s over, I’m free.

In our lives, at some time or other, we will spend time in the wilderness-struggling.

When things don’t seem right-where our life doesn’t seem to go to script.

A few years ago, a friend told me to go see a movie that he highly recommended. To not spoil it he didn’t tell me anything about it-just the title.

So along I went.

Unfortunately I was running a bit late and I missed the start.

But it didn’t matter; I got the gist of what was happening. The thing was I thought it was rubbish-but in trust of my friend’s recommendation I hung in there, but it didn’t get any better.

At the end, while walking out and thinking “what was my friend thinking”, I happened to notice that the movie he had told me to see-was in the room next door-I had watched the wrong movie.

But our lives are not of fiction, they are real-and sometimes we find ourselves in the wilderness.

Tough times that hurt, that don’t seem fair.

Times when that Aussie outlook, “She’ll be right mate” doesn’t cut it.

But In our tough times, our wilderness moments-he is with us, to sustain us-to strengthen us and to give us hope.

That’s the truth, we know this in faith.

Yet, in the here and now, the events our daily lives sometimes blur our vision, and it can become hard to see our saviour there with us.

In our baptism Christ has promised to be with us, to always be with us and get us to that day when we are re-united in heaven.

But in the middle, sometimes in our lives we start to wonder what is actually going on, where the script of our lives is different to how we imagined it.

Things turn out differently.

Test Cricketers have remarked, that at the height of his powers that when Shane Warne released the cricket ball, it would spin so furiously that they could hear it zinging past them.

When Shane was asked of his freakish ability he remarked that he believed it was due to an accident he had as a child were he broke his wrist,

and having not gone to the doctor-the bone’s set incorrectly, that later seemed to give him a un- natural ability to spin the ball.

When Shane broke his wrist, I’m sure he would not have predicted such an outcome.

But our lives are not like watching a game of cricket or movie script with only our fleeting emotional attachment. Our lives are real, as are the things that come our way.

My dear Christian friend who lost his teenage son to illness would go out into the paddock,

Look to the heavens and shout “Why Lord, Why my Boy, why my boy.

I cannot imagine the pain of my friend-I could not even try.

We could look piously at people in these situations and say “Trust in the Lord”, or give some, “get some faith type of comment like Job’s mates gave him,

Until it’s us. Until our moment brings us to our knees-where the hurt is so absorbing we cannot rejoice.

And only ask why?

Yet, when we look back over times in our life, terrible hurtful times where we seem to have been abandoned, we see in hindsight that we were not alone.

In the Gospel we heard today Christ was there in his own wilderness struggle, in the Gospel everyday, he is with us in ours-carrying us on his back when we can no longer walk, bringing hope when we have no hope and bringing help when we are helpless.

When Adam and Eve fell to sin in the garden, God responded by clothing them.

Daily we fall to sin, daily we doubt and daily we follow our own way and not that of the Lord.

Yet in our failure to walk with Christ, he responds by walking with us.

He does not meet us in scorn,

But meets us in love, and reveals himself to us.

At the fall in the Garden, God clothed two sinners for their protection and warmth on their earthly journey.

In Jesus, God gave sinners his Son, for our protection and warmth on our earthly journey, and clothed us with the righteousness of His Son for our salvation.

With our world’s distractions it can be hard to see the trees for the forest: lent is a time of putting things down-these distractions, so we can focus on our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Banjo Paterson one remarked that “If you don’t put down a brick you can’t pick up a castle”.

On Ash Wednesday we entered lent. A day that some of us, for the next forty days have decided to give something up.

How could this be described? Maybe like a New Year’s resolution without the time span.

There’s an element of truth in that-but what is different is the motivation and the desired result.

As we enter lent some of us may have made a decision to give something up and that’s fine. But giving up for lent is not like a new year’s resolution. Lent is not about not giving up the PlayStation 3 for the sake of it, it’s about purposely using that time to hear and be drawn near our Lord.

To read the bible, pray, family devotions-or simply to sit and think.

To have quiet time with God.

In our hurly burly world and its distractions, that is not as easy as it sounds. But making that time is the essence of the Lenten period, to reflect on Christ in our lives and on our priorities. To get them in order during this time of anticipation as we wait to hear of our Saviours death and resurrection at Easter.

To see what God has done for us. Given His Son to resist temptation for us. Given His Son to win the battle that we could never have won.

To see how daily Jesus meets us, walks with us, restores us and strengthens us.

 

To let us go forward, knowing Christ is with us-come what may. AMEN.

 

What are we doing?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Transfiguration Sunday

Some 4,000 years or so ago, a city of people endeavoured to build a tower, the tower of Babel which some say was to be built 91 meters high. So high that they thought  it would reach to heaven, to God.

2010 in Dubai, the 828 metre Burj Khalifa tower was opened. Nine times the height of the tower of Babel, and still not a sight of the gates to paradise.

July 20th 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, and uttered those words that have become part of history: “That’s one small step for man (and) one giant step for mankind”.  Prior to leaving Neil and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin erected a plaque that read “Here men from the planet earth first set foot upon the moon, and we come in peace”.

Back on planet earth, on that day-the first Australian women was killed in the Vietnam War.

On a later moon landing, one of the astronauts looking back at earth, looking back at this beautiful  and radiant bright green, brown and blue marble, shining amongst the dark space. But knowing of its troubles made a an apt comment  “what are we doing down there?

Several weeks ago in the paper a scientist remarked that due to the state of the earth, the pollution, population increase and the resources we need to carry on-we will need to find another planet that we can colonise within the next several hundred years.

That plaque on the moon, “we come in peace”,  good intentions but given our track record-what do you think are the chances?

Even the great St. Paul. A man of God- who after reflecting on himself stated “I do what I don’t want to do, and don’t do what I want to do”.

Humankinds desire to be the master of its own destiny, to rely only on itself-is a desire to be like God, to be God, or at the very least, to earn our right to be in God’s presence and to earn eternal life.

Essentially, in our society we are lead to believe the world revolves around us. The land of “I”.

How well do you reckon that’s been travelling? A bit like that plaque on the moon I would suggest.

Our Gospel today is like a history lesson of God’s plan for our salvation. The times leading to Christ. The realisation of Christ as the messiah, our Saviour, and our mediator. Christ that solved our problem of sin and brought us life and freedom – eternally and now, here on our earthly home.

The apostles are on the mountain top with Jesus, and before them appear Elijah and Moses.

Two of God’s great servants from the Old Testament. Elijah the prophet who God spoke to on a mountain top, and Moses, who on Mount Sinai God gave  the law, the ten commandments.

These men and the Old Testament in general, continually testified to the future coming of the messiah.  Here on this mountain top, the presence of Moses and Elijah confirm that Jesus is the fulfilment of those testimonies, that Jesus is both the focus and the fulfilment of the Old Testimont.

Yet, Jesus the Son of God, the Word, the messiah, the Holy one that all have been waiting for is standing there on the mountain top next to three normal human beings-Peter, James and John.

This is significant.

Previously when Moses had met God on Mount Sinai, God said “You cannot see My face; for no person shall see Me, and live, so while My glory passes by, I will put you in the cleft of the rock and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I shall take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen”.

Why did God act in this way? He wasn’t playing charades or trying to rain on Moses parade, we was protecting Him. Due to sin, if exposed directly to the Holiness of God, Moses would have been like a piece of paper to a raging fire.

As it was, when Moses went down from the mountain, his face was glowing so brightly in God’s Glory that he had to where a veil so that others could even look at him.

Because of Human sin, brought about by the fall in the Garden of Eden, the relationship with God was fractured. We see this all through the Old Testament. In the temple, God would descend veiled in a cloud, and even them only the chief priest could approach the alter. It has been said that that in those days they used to tie a rope around the chief priests ankle, so that if didn’t make it out, they could drab him out.  “Rumour” has it that for at least one this happened .

So what of Christ. You will remember that upon His death on the cross, the curtain that surrounded the alter was torn in two. The separation between God and sinful humans had been taken away by Christ dying on the cross for our sins. .

In Christ we are free to approach God in all His Holiness because he is our the mediator and our intercessor.

Christ said “I have not come to remove the law, but to fulfil the law”. The law that we know is good-but leads death if we think that we can keep it enough to gain God’s acceptance-this is what we know as self-righteousness.

But Christ has restored our relationship with God the Father with His righteousness.

In Jesus we see God, not of the law, but of compassion, love and forgiveness.

In Jesus, God does not see us clothed in our sin, but clothed in the righteousness of Jesus. Thus,  we can approach God as we are and seek his forgiveness and help in our lives. Prayers that he hears because of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Christ has brought God’s forgiveness. Not because we earn it, not because of anything we have done or will do-but because of what Christ alone has done.

In Christ we are free-free in this life to go about our business with surety of his promise. On the mountain top God told  us “To listen to Him”, and what HAS Jesus told us.  John 3:16. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life”.

So what of our lives now. Do we throw the baby out with the bath water?  Saved in Christ, free in Christ-does that mean we just sit back and smell the roses while those around us are still building their towers of Babel to nowhere. Absolutely not.

Freedom in Christ allows us to take a step back, to see things clearly. To not allow for anguish over the things we suffer from others-but to suffer with them. To not worry of ourselves when taken advantage of-but to suffer with that person who does so. To be ridiculed, yet return to them our service. To lift up those from whom we have been downtrodden.

As free people in Christ, we take a step back and see things as they are, and seeing them in Christ they are different.

At the end of the American civil war slaves in the South were released from their bondage and told they were free to go-to do what they want and when they wanted to do it. Yet many replied, now that I am free, I will stay and work harder than I ever did-but as a free person.

2nd Corinthians 12:10 tells us that now that we are Co-labourers with God, “We are to take up the burdens that God appoints, bearing them for His sake, and ever going to Him for rest. Whatever our work, God is honoured by whole hearted, cheerful service. He is pleased when we take up our duties with gratitude, rejoicing that we are accounted worthy to be co-labourers with Him”.

American Tennis player Pete Sampras on winning the first of his 14 Grand Slam events was asked “what’s it like to be a tennis champion”, to which he responded, “I already was”.

On that glorious day when we all meet again in our eternal home before our Lord and Saviour, should someone ask you what’s it like to be free? You can respond, “I already was”.

Yes, we already are, even though this side of heaven we still carry our human traits and our sin,we still live as free people because of Christ.

Not free as if NASA has found another utopian world we can all go and settle on. Not free because we have built our own stair way to heaven, but free because of Christ. Faith not in ourselves, but faith in Christ alone.

Martin Luther stated, “Faith is a living, daring confidence on God’s Grace, So sure and certain that a person could stake their life on it a thousand times”.

On the mountain top, God said to three apostles, said to us “listen to Him”.

So we shall:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand”.

“My peace I give to you; (but) not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”.

“Whoever believes in Me will not perish but have eternal life”

“If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed”

Yes, we are free and the world looks different. Tears and Sadness, laughter and happiness. Mistakes and achievements, serving and being served, we do as saved and free people.

In Christ our world looks different, because it is-and we rejoice.

Amen

Getting your hands dirty.

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Mark 1:40-45


A few months ago, while holidaying in one of our large capital cities, I was taken aback by the amount of people asking passers’ by for some change, initially I felt sorrow for them-in that the passers’ by were simply that-they passed by as if the person wasn’t even there-

But after a few days, due to the regularity of being approached, I could see how easy it is to forget that each of these people  are unique: different in hurts, backgrounds, passions and loves.. 

It seems that without even trying, but due to the regularity of the situation-they seem to become as one.

Just this bunch of people-that when we encounter or think of as a collective, are easy to just pass by.  To not get our hands dirty so to speak.

There was a cartoon in a recent paper that spoke volumes of this type of situation. There’s a hall all lit up and full of people in fancy cloths. Out the front, standing next to a sign that reads “Charity Gala ball for the homeless” is a bedraggled and needy looking man, and upon looking to enter is advised “no ticket, no entry”. 

It’s a satire-tical look at the situation that hits home.

Thankfully for humanity, Jesus is not scared to get his hands dirty.

As we heard:

“a leper came to him and falling to his knees before Him, and said to Him, If you are willing, You can make me clean. And moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand, and touched him, and said I am willing, be cleansed”.

The significance of Jesus touch is great.

Because leprosy is of a highly infectious nature, lepers were shunned by society.

Kicked out of society.

They had to live in camps, leper colonies outside the towns and cities-Leper Colonies. They were not to approach or touch no one and should anyone begin to walk near them, they had to call out “Unclean, Unclean” to warn them to stay away.

A doctor who recently conducted research into this disease in India said, “It’s a repulsive disease. It attacks the nervous system which causes the victim to lose all sense of touch and pain, initially in the fingers and toes, then spreading up the arms and legs.

Without a sense of touch, the ill person eventually damages their toes, fingers and feet. They will knock them, cut them, get infections and not even notice”.

He said that upon seeing so many people in this leper colony without fingers and toes he asked them how it happens. Some said they knocked them off, but many said they did not know, but they seemed to lose them at night and in the morning there was no trace of them left.

One night, he sat with a leper while he slept. He saw rats chewing the persons toes and fingers-but the victim did not wake, for he felt nothing.

If we were in Israel, would not we too stay away from this leper?

But Jesus reaches out and touches him-and cures him.  

But this was much more than a physical disease.

It was a disease of hopelessness.  Because being deemed “Unclean” they could not attend the temple or tabernacle worship.

They could not enter the house of God.  In a sense, they were banned from God, from hope.

The seriousness at that time of this leper’s inability to attend the temple cannot be understated. A Scholar noted that the trashing, or destruction of the temple in Israel by the Romans

is regarded by the Jews as much worse a tragedy than the Holocaust.

This leper, this man, had no physical hope, and worse, seemingly no spiritual hope.

But Jesus reached out touched him. Reaching out his saving hand-and gave him access to His Father.

Gave him hope. The same hope that we received when Jesus reached out and touched us.

In sending the leper to the priest, Jesus is preaching through illustration,

He is providing an opportunity for the priests and others, to see and hear the leper’s testimony. A testimony that is much more complete and moving than only if it was a statement about his physical healing.

The same picture, the same testimonies can be heard today, or at least they should be. Physically, God provides for us with shelter, food and clothing. He provides doctors, nurses and a government with a social conscience. Everything good we receive is a gift from God.

But like the leper, we have received more, much more.

Our gracious God gave us his Son. Who has brought us forgiveness and restored our relationship to God the Father. He covers with his blood the hurtful and hateful things we have done. The pain we have caused on others and the messes we have made.

His gives us life and we rejoice.

The Lord got his hands dirty in dealing with our sin, to bring us back to him.

The same hands he reached out to the Leper, to clean him.

The same hands that reach out to non-Christians.  Not a group of nameless people. But individuals that hurt, love and yes, are looking for hope.

But hope that is misplaced and fleeting if outside of Christ. God knows the hope they need, the only hope this world has to offer-

hope in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

God loves us and he loves them. God has brought us peace, and he looks to bring them peace-they just need to see it and to feel that blessed hope. Christ died for our sins, and he died for theirs.

His hand reached out to us, and he reaches out his hand to them. How did his hand reach out to you, maybe as an infant  you were carried to him in Baptism? Maybe as an adult someone brought you before the Word of God.

How does his hand reach out to those that as yet do not know him?

Through his church, through its members and through us.

Luther’s morning prayer basically covers our daily life as a Christian.

“In the name of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.  I give thee thanks, heavenly Father, through your dear Son Jesus Christ, that you have protected me through the night from all harm and danger. I ask you to keep me this day, too, from all sin and evil, that in my thoughts, words, and deeds I may please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let the holy angel have charge of me, that the wicked one may have no power over me. Amen.”

(and) Daily, the Lord carries us out to them, the people he has placed before us, so that we can carry them back to him. We are not the saviours, but we are the cleansed lepers who go to them with our testimony of Jesus. Go to them with Jesus testimony, that no matter what their ills, he wishes to wash them clean. To bring them peace, love and hope. To give them life, now and eternally.  Amen.

Free to fly.

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Text: Isaiah 40:31

Those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.

 

 

Ever wondered what it would be like to fly? I don’t mean flying in a plane, or dangling beneath a kite or parachute. I mean sticking your arms out like a bird, or out front like superman if you like, and soaring above the earth; banking over the forests; skimming over the rivers; darting through mountain canyons; diving down and scaring the living daylights out of the members of your family; breathing deeply in the fresh air of free and effortless flight! And if you are someone who is scared of heights, imagine if you had no such fear. You could come and fly with the rest of us.

From the early pages of history people have looked at the birds and wanted to fly. You may have seen on TV people flying in a wind tunnel but that’s not soaring high above the clouds. You have seen people jump out of perfectly good planes and ‘fly’ at least for a while, but gravity does it job and the skydiver has no choice but to pull the ripcord on his parachute.

I’m sure every kid at some time has wanted to fly. Maybe it’s been a theme in your dreams but like all dreams there comes a rude awakening when you wake up and discover that you are still a prisoner of gravity. As much as we really wish we could fly, we have to walk to the bathroom, walk out to the kitchen for breakfast and walk to school or work. We aren’t built for flying.

As adults we don’t think about flying as we did when we were kids. Not only aren’t we built for flying but we also carry a lot of baggage – we carry too much weight. Not only the kind of weight that shows up on the bathroom scales but the weight of worry, anxiety, paying bills, keeping the boss happy, and how our health crisis will turn out. All this weighs us down.

If you own your own business and you wonder if you’ve thought about everything and planned for every contingency. You do care about those who work for you, and you realise that there may come a time when you will have to put off some of them. And this weighs you down.

Then there’s your family. The people you love. You see your parents getting older; perhaps becoming infirm. You see your children struggling in this or that. Perhaps you’ve hit a rough patch in your marriage. When you were a kid love wasn’t so difficult and so demanding. But that’s because you were mostly on the receiving end of it. And now you are called to be the one who gives it; called to be the one who loves. This too can weigh you down.

So what about those dreams of flying high above the world in complete freedom and in the open spaces where there is not a worry in the world? Nah! Not anymore! Life is way too heavy to entertain such thought. Flying – that’s okay for kids to dream about because they don’t have the worries we have but for us the world is too real. A bit like gravity – we can’t ever get away from it.

And yet, what does the text from Isaiah say? “Those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary.” Hmmm. “They will rise on wings like eagles”. With renewed strength they will soar above the earth with the powerful wings of an eagle. I don’t know about you, but Isaiah’s got my attention! Suddenly my childhood interest in being able to fly is renewed. Floating, drifting, circling, free as a bird. Is there a way to overcome the gravity of our lives, a way to lighten our loads, a way rise above it all? Is this just a dream, wishful thinking, belonging to the world of fantasy along with fairies, flying dragons and magic carpets?

Just to put these words about flying like eagles into context. The prophet Isaiah was writing to the people of Israel during a time, when they felt like their strength was sapped and they had no hope. Like us, they were worried. The news wasn’t good. The dreadful Assyrians were breathing down their necks, and later it would be the Babylonians who would take them all away to live in exile. As they thought about all the stuff that was happening around them, they were weighed down and overwhelmed by the seriousness of their situation.

They started to say things like, “God doesn’t really care about me! How can he? Look at all this bad and difficult stuff that is happening all around us. He’s not really in charge of things!” (Isaiah 40:27).

You see what was happening here? They began to see their problems as being bigger than God himself. They forgot that the creator of everything, the everlasting Lord, whose love for his people means he will never grow tired of helping them, just might be able to help them with all their worries.

You see over the years a subtle exchange had taken place. They exchanged their faith in God for a kind of do-it-yourself kind of attitude. We do the exact same thing! This DIY kind of Christianity excludes God from certain areas of our lives. I know God is there but I can handle this myself.
“Let’s see, my work, hmm, no that’s not God’s problem.
Finances, no. I can fix that.
Relationship problems, no. That’s my responsibility.
My love life, no God doesn’t know anything about that, that’s my area.”

Without even giving it too much thought we exclude God from different aspects of our lives. We can fix it we say and maybe it works okay for a time. But then we begin to feel the weight. Our blood pressure rises. We toss and turn. We get sick. We become depressed. The joy goes out of our lives. We despair. We slowly realise that the DIY approach isn’t all that successful after all.

I’m sure that a lot us, including myself, have to admit to doing this at some time, if not more often than we care to admit. We sideline God and try to be our own god. We believe that we can do it alone, but that’s something God never intended us to be. God didn’t make us to stand alone against everything that threatens our safety and happiness. God made us to rely on him.

This is where Isaiah comes in and we have this wonderful passage that was read earlier. He asks, “How can you be so dumb. Don’t you know who stretched out the heavens, made the earth and filled it with people? Don’t you know that it is God who created the stars? There are millions of them, and yet he knows when one of them is missing and if God knows each individual star, it follows that he knows each one of us personally and calls us by name. He knows when we are in trouble. No one can ever accuse God of turning a deaf ear to our needs.

Then comes these wonderful words,
“Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God; he created all the world.
He never grows tired or weary.
No one understands his thoughts.
He strengthens those who are weak and tired. 
Even those who are young grow weak; young people can fall exhausted. 
But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed.
They will rise on wings like eagles;
they will run and not get weary;
they will walk and not grow weak.” (40:28-31)

Jesus affirmed what Isaiah said when he said things like, “Come to me, all of your who are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” or “Your heavenly Father knows all about the sparrows even though there are so many of them and he knows when a hair falls from your head. In the same way, he knows each of us intimately and personally” or “I am the good shepherd and I know each of my sheep and if one should get lost, I will go so far as to sacrifice my life to rescue that lost one”.

Jesus assures us that there is not a moment when we are not under his love and care. Yes, there will be times when we will intentionally and unintentionally lock him out of our lives. There will be times when we could have saved ourselves a heap of stress and pressure if only we had trusted in the Lord for help and realised that he is ready, willing and able to give us renewed strength and a fresh outlook on life and its problems.

The apostle Paul realised that he knew what he ought to do and trust God more but found more often than not that he did what he knew he shouldn’t do. There were times when he was physically exhausted and drained, not knowing what will happen to him next. But in each case he came back to this one point, “God can raise me above all this. His love is so powerful that I can be confident, content, and certain no matter what the circumstances. The Lord will help me to face each thing that terrifies me and give me the strength to continue”. In the end Paul says, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

As Isaiah said, “Those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak”.

In other words, trusting in God to give us the strength that is beyond our own strength to deal with any situation, we can rise on wings like eagles. We can fly. We can soar high above our problems; we can fly free with the sky as the limit. God wants us to fly like eagles.

When we trust in God and his love for us and entrust our lives to the one who gave his life for us on the cross, everything else is dwarfed in comparison to the largeness and authority of the Lord. He is bigger than any problem we might face. And as we learn to trust him, we begin to see things from his perspective. He draws us upward in faith, so that we begin to get a bird’s eye view of things, or more correctly, a God’s eye view of things.

Remember the dreams about flying, the fantasy stories like Peter Pan where children could fly; well they are not too far off the mark. We too can fly even though our feet never leave the ground. We can rise above everything threatens our security with a strength that comes from God. “Those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles”.