EARTH: Encouraged To Fly by Francine Rivers

Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature

Encouraged To Fly by Francine Rivers

From: Earth Psalms

Jesus said, “Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

A red-tailed hawk lives somewhere down in the green space behind our fence. We’d heard the hawk’s piercing cry before but figured it was the scrub jays again, imitating the hawk’s call. That high-pitched screech sends the mourning doves, quail, and songbirds scattering for cover – leaving those jays laughing as they claim our abandoned bird feeder and scarf down the seed.

This time, the piercing cries really were from hawks: not one, but three.  Mom’s cry sounded encouraging, mature, and confident; the babies sounded so pathetic, I wanted to weep.  We kept trying to spot them, and then two perched in our tree.  They weren’t babies.  They looked more like adolescents.  And could they make noise!  They’d swivel their heads and cry and cry, and Mom would answer.

I started imagining the conversation:

“Mom!  We’re hungry!  Where’s the vole?”

“You said you didn’t like vole.”

“What about the field mouse down there?  He looks tasty.”

“You’ve got wings.  You flew to that limb, didn’t you?  You’ve got eyes!  You just spotted that mouse.  Go get him.”

“Ah, Mooommm.  We’re tired.  We’re hungry.  You do it.”

“You’re old enough to learn how to earn your own living.”

“But we’re scared, Mom.  What if we crash-dive?  What if we come up empty?”

“You don’t think I crash-dived when I was learning?  You don’t think I failed?  I had to learn, too.  Now get off your tail feathers and go for it!”

I was cheering them on.  “Go for those mice!  Get that rattlesnake!  Come on, hawklet!  Come on, hawkling!  You can do it!”

Sometimes it feels like God is abandoning us to fend for ourselves.  But he is always right behind us, encouraging us to do the right thing.  Encouraging us when we fail.  Helping us grow into the people we were meant to be.  God loves us too much to let us stay where we are.  He is always working for our growth, equipping us for new things and supporting us along the way.  As Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Take heart, and don’t be afraid to fly!

When God speaks, oftentimes his voice will call for an act of courage on our part.
(Charles Stanley)

REFLECT

Have you ever felt that God is abandoning you?  How could it change your mind-set to consider that he might be giving you space to step out in faith and courage?  How do we know that God is always with us?

APPLY

This week, identify one thing you would do if fear were not holding you back.  Ask God for the courage to try, remembering that he has equipped you and is going before you.

CONNECT WITH GOD

Heavenly Father, so often my fear of failing keeps me from having the courage to step out in faith.  Thank you for never leaving me.  Help me to remember that you are with me every step of the way, encouraging me, going before me, and molding me into the person you have created me to be.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?
(Psalm 27:1)

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