I want to SOAR! Ever since I read and reread the above verse the idea of soaring has moved me dangerously toward idolizing the Christian life. I conjured up pictures of living above life's circumstances, untouched by grief, discouragement, fear, betrayal and pain. However, after 67 years of life in the saddle my romanticized view has had to deal with reality.
I wonder, was Jesus soaring in Gethsemane when He sweat great drops of blood? Was Jesus soaring when He agonized in prayer, repeatedly pleading for another path? Was Paul soaring when he despaired of life, when he and his coworkers hit the limit of what they felt they could endure? "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death." 2 Cor. 1:8,9. Was David soaring when, in fear, he pretended to be insane? 1Sam 21: 12,13. Was John the Baptist soaring when imprisoned, despondency and doubt swept over him?
I wonder if God includes these spiritually X-rated parts to de-romanticize our distorted picture of what it means to walk with Him? Perhaps one reason I love Psalms is that David is so real, so honest and so human. He wrote, "My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm." Ps 55:4-8.
It seems that God is found more in the trenches than soaring in the clouds!!! That's how it's been for me. When my family disowned me for becoming an Adventist, I clung to God. When my associates sold me out for their benefit, I went deeper with God. When I broke my back, cracked five ribs, collapsed my left lung and death seemed preferable to life, I reached out and God was there in the midst of my storm. When my denomination trashed me and tossed me out like a used Popsicle stick, I found God and God alone. When I was told I had stage four prostate cancer, I bowed to the absolute sovereignty of God and surrendered to Him the right to do what He chooses to do, whenever He chooses to do it, in any way He chooses to do it and for any purpose He wants to accomplish.
By design, humans are not self-sufficient. Adam and Eve were created to walk with God, enjoy Him, obey Him, and find their sufficiency and supply in God Himself. When Paul and his coworkers tottered on the brink, he concluded, "This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." 2 Cor. 1:9. When we come to the utter end of ourselves, surrender ourselves to God and experience His restorating and enabling power, we SOAR!!!
Soaring in Him,
Jim & Sally