“Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles.”
I’ve heard people talk about their ‘Christian Walk’. Mine has been more of a skydive.
It didn’t start out that way. I lived a pretty ordinary life. Like boring ordinary, but I liked it that way. Life was wonderfully predictable. I’d been blessed with good health, a happy family and a fantastic career. I even had a very pleasant relationship with Jesus (though I tended to only read the Bible verses that could be embroidered on pillows).
Then my job disappeared. Shortly after, my sister and I started to take care of our elderly mother, who was slowly descending into dementia. We watched our loving mother turn into an angry, bitter animal. My ordinary life became extraordinary in all the wrong ways. I felt like I’d been shoved from a plane at thirty thousand feet, with a parachute packed full of embroidered Jesus pillows. Needless to say, even after I pulled the cord, I kept falling.
I had company on the way down. There were lots of people around me who’d found themselves falling because of troubles in their own lives. The reasons were as varied as the crowd, but they included addiction, disease, divorce and depression. Heartbreak and grief were huge reasons. So was unforgiveness, where the skydiver said, “It’s so-and-so’s fault that I’m falling, not mine.” News flash: You’re still the one falling.
But back to my own skydive. I’d like to tell you that I found the magic Bible verse that made everything all better, but I don’t live in a Disney movie. Life continued to be tough for years. Eventually I got a job making much less money, but I was working for a Christian boss (a trade-off I’d recommend). My mom continued to deteriorate mentally, but during her last days her sweet smile returned. It’s a memory I’ll cherish forever. Finally, the Lord plopped me into a rock-solid Bible group, where I was able to read and discuss God’s love for me in a way that made sense. Little by little, I was encouraged to stop looking at the ground below and start looking up at Jesus.
Somewhere along the way, I realized I wasn’t falling anymore. I looked behind me, to see what kind of parachute the Lord had provided for me. But it wasn’t a parachute at all.
He’d given me eagle’s wings.