On Eagles' Wings
It’s a week since our exciting Sri Lankan holiday began and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Best of all have been precious times we’ve spent with family and friends – creating fresh vibrant memories to carry home in our hearts when our time here comes to an end. Christmas in Sri Lanka after 17 years! It’s been awesome. 17 of us sat down to lunch together on the Christmas day. What joy we experienced as we celebrated Christ’s birth together, deepening relationships that have lasted over many decades like a house that stands sure on a firm foundation.
One morning, we caught up with close friends – meeting them after 17 years. It was a happy happy time. Shan and I and Asela left them with a sense of gratitude for old ties renewed. One afternoon we caught up with a friend from my youth and his family in their spacious beautiful eco mansion. He was amazingly generous with his time as well as his bounty - it was like stepping into an oasis when we entered their beautiful home. We left with smile on our faces. One night, friends at a beachside resort gave us an evening to remember – dining under the stars where palm branches waved their large beautiful branches; where music and exuberant dancing ended a perfect evening.
Moments with my beloved Mum have been very precious. I’ve been savouring them – adding colourful beads to a chain called memory– a stunning necklace to adorn my spirit and to make it glow. We are being pampered here – no meals to cook – only feasting to do; and fellowship to thrive on! One day I caught up with my 21 year old ‘Mum and Me’ friends – how enchanting it was - the little 2 year old ‘Me’s of yester-year have grown into handsome young men and women of who make their Mums very very proud.
Today is the 30th of December 2013 - 2 days left before we usher in a brand New Year. I reflect on the year that has passed. I reflect on what I’ve learnt during 12 months that whizzed by far too quickly. As in most years, 2013 too has seen both tears and smiles; bad health and good; hard times and blessing. Now…as I reflect, I remember. I remember His Love; I remember His Presence; I remember God’s Faithfulness. So what has 2013 taught me? What can I take with me to a brand new Year? I perceive the lessons vividly - a child’s red crayon drawing on the garden wall – unexpected, striking, vibrant.
Waiting is never easy is it? I had to wait 17 long years for Christmas in Sri Lanka. But that wait was more than worthwhile. Christmas 2013 has been a fountain of joy that sprouted blessing upon blessing. And now, as I look back, I find a common thread running through the year.
Waiting upon the Lord. Waiting on His ways. Waiting for His time. Waiting for His promises to be fulfilled. After my operation in January I spent 6 weeks waiting. Lying on my back for so long was taxing. But everything else about it was glorious. So it was an ‘easy’ kind of waiting. I spent beautiful times with God, relaxing, meditating, being still. I loved it. The much harder wait came afterwards – when for the next 6 weeks my body protested - big time. The weeks of inactivity made my fibromyalgia symptoms aggressive – like a squawking bird in captivity or a growling hungry lion pacing its den.
It was then that I remembered the words God gave me for the 2013. ‘Wait upon the Lord’. Some months later, when I experienced another challenging season, I learnt the truth of it once more. Because each time I turned to God perplexed and sad, He reminded me to ‘Wait upon the Lord.’ I re-discovered that waiting is rarely passive or inactive. Waiting on Him was permitting God to handle what I could not do – in His time and in His way. Waiting on the Lord involved trust. Waiting on Him involved praise. Because praise indicated trust. Waiting upon the Lord was also to follow Jesus’ example. Forgiving freely. Loving generously. Being silent when needed. Speaking out when He required it. Becoming all He’s created me to be – walking in integrity no matter what. Seeking His face. Doing what He called me to in an attitude of total surrender.
I stop. I look up. I smile with God. It has been a difficult year but also a good one. There’s been surprise and dismay at life’s mysteries. But also wonder and sheer joy at the love of a faithful God. My outward smile today reflects the peace He in His grace has planted within.
What has your year has been like? Have there been too many moments of bewilderment? Of sadness? Of hurt? Of pain? Of strife? If so, I’m deeply sorry. Sadly, life is often no picnic. But let me whisper an encouraging word.
But those who wait on the Lord
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)
Yes, I have discovered that there’s blessing when we wait upon the Lord. God has fulfilled the promises He gave me at the beginning of 2013. He turned my mourning into dancing and my tears into praise. He changed a mantle of despair into a robe of gladness. Today I stand amazed at all He has done for me. And I rise up on eagles' wings.
A Joyful New Year to all my Blog Readers. May 2014 be a fabulous year for you, filled with God’s love, His joy and His presence. May you experience His Hand upon your life. And as the dawn breaks, may you too…. rise On Eagles' Wings.