[He prayed to the Lord who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign]
It’s time to inject some purposeful positivity into “Captain’s Blog!” I’m in a right ready mood, to break the trend of all these woes, which made me feel as if “Captain’s Blog” wasn’t such a great idea. While I don’t enjoy feeling as if I’m beating a dead horse here, writing through rough patches has always taught me so much. If God can use it, then I’m putting it out there, and if I’m mistaken, well, then I truly am just yammering. Nevertheless, I’m trusting God with this, so onward and upward!
What Is That, Mother?
What is that, Mother?
The eagle, boy!
Proudly careering his course of joy,
Firm, on his own mountain vigour, relying,
Breasting the dark storm, the red bolt defying,
His wing on the wind, and his eye on the sun,
He swerves not a hair, but bears onward, right on:
Boy, may the eagle’s flight ever be thine,
Onward, and upward, and true to the line.
–George Washington Doane 1825–
Although the “flying lessons” aren’t truly over till we’re caught up in the the clouds with Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:17) It’s been amazing to shift gears and vear away from the wind. The thing about learning to navigate through rough weather, is that you’re forced to go through the wind and rain; it isn’t so pleasant at the time, but later, it does produce that peace that it should (Hebrews 12:11).
Learning to “fly” can be compared with learning to swim: eventually you have to plunge into the deep end. I’ve heard tales of those who’ve been thrown into the water by their fathers. Faith isn’t so different. No, Jesus didn’t exactly toss Peter into the water, but He did ask Him to walk out onto the waves. When Peter’s heart sank, he too began to sink, but Jesus reached out for His hand when Peter called out to Him for help. We can rest assured then that through the storm were never alone. God’s hand is never out of reach.
“”Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”” –Matthew 14:29
“Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that He will lift you up in His own good time. Leave all your worries with Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
Did you know that baby birds aren’t typically pushed out of the nest? (I didn’t!) Like human parents, and even God Himself, the mother bird will slowly draw her babies out of the nest. Human parents will sometimes use something like a toy or food to garner excitement and motivation. Wanting what the parent has to offer, the child will attempt that forward movement. With the mother bird, it’s apparently much the same. Baby birds are fed at regular intervals; they learn to expect the mother to return with food to satiate their hunger. The mother bird will stand further and further back to entice her young ones to come out of the nest. However, it’s been reported, that on occasion a mother bird will be forced to push a baby out of the nest. This is for the good of her young; a bird that doesn’t learn to fly won’t survive; it must leave the nest. Is it any wonder then, that we’re told to seek the Lord?
“Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” –Isaiah 55:6-9
Thankfully, when I was encouraged out of my “nest” I did move closer to God, and I am learning to “fly.” Alright, so perhaps sometimes I hit some turbulence or I come in for a crash landing, but I’ll get the hang of it. Thankfully, those winds of change do come. Life is still somewhat sketchy to me, but it’s a huge relief that on the health front, my body has finally adjusted to switching back to my original thyroid medication. While new medication may not have been the answer to my health struggles, God did use it for good, so I can live with that.
In at least a couple of my blog posts I’ve mentioned “my eagle.” I also “voiced” that it would need some further explanation (or splainin’ if your awesome like Kenn of Kenn’s Komments ) This reminder and sign came a couple of Summers ago. At this point in time my health being a constant challenge was weighing very heavy on me, more specifically, the chronic fatigue. Sometimes you just grow tired of being so tired, particularly when it’s interfering with your ability to get out of the house and function like a “normal” human being. I do use normal loosely here. What’s normal right?
Fatigue isn’t just being tired. For me, It’s almost always feeling beat even before my feet hit the floor. When it’s at its worst, It can affect me mentally as well; I can have trouble concentrating and thinking straight; I may experience some depression, and my ability to communicate clearly may be affected; my sentences don’t come out right; my coordination can be off; my hands don’t always work right and I become annoyingly clumsy. On days when breathing itself feels exhausting, I can also feel shaky and weak. From time to time I’ll have bouts of anxiety or jitteriness, and as well I have ongoing sleep problems; either I can’t keep my eyes open, or I can’t stay asleep. Not to sound like I’m complaining, but on top of that, Andrew has his own health challenges also, so our life is definitely not what I’d call normal, but it’s our “normal,” at least for now.
All of this makes our life very unpredictable. Often, our plans change unexpectedly, when one, or both of us, is too unwell to accomplish a given task. We sometimes have to forgo family events as well. At times, it can feel frustrating or discouraging. Eventually, we both have one of those days when you feel as if it would be really nice if something would give. For the most part, however, rolling with the punches is a lesson that we’ve mastered. God has certainly given us a lot of practice!
Nevertheless, before I was given my reminder and sign, I was determinedly set on trying to figure out how to improve my health. Yes, I do realize what this may infer: I wasn’t giving it to God. I really wasn’t giving it to God. Instead, I was trying to figure things out on my own. I felt that one of us, at least, should be able to function! Maybe, I also wanted to feel that I had some control, but I was, as I said, just so tired of being tired.
As I read more about my condition, I was trying various different things, like vitamins and autoimmune diets; and I was also set on figuring out all of my food sensitivities. I started to feel better there for a while, but just when I thought something was finally working, my body informed me that I was wrong. This was only a temporary reprieve. Discouraged, I was ready to throw my hands up in the air, but the only good that can come from that, comes only if you’re raising those hands to God. That’s when I was reminded one morning that I don’t get what I need because I don’t ask. ‘That’s right! I don’t ask!’ So, I decided it might be in my best interest to listen to my Lord and try asking. (Good idea!)
Why hadn’t I been asking? Well, for starters I really haven’t seen too many people healed of their infirmities. I suppose I assumed that God must say, ‘My grace is sufficient for you’ quite often. I was also determined that His grace would be sufficient for me too. If God wanted to heal me I figured that He would, and if I could do anything to improve my health then I’d do that. As many of us assume, I suppose, that I too felt that it would be rather selfish of me to pray for myself more than I ought to. Not only did I need some “flying lessons,” I also needed some lessons in communicating with my Father in Heaven. Apparently He wants us to keep “bugging” Him? (Luke 11:5-13) It’s not as if He has a limited supply of blessings, so we can ask for more, in fact He even encourages this.
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.
As my grandpa would have said to his C-B’r (Citizen Band Radio) buddies: ‘Breaker breaker’ and ‘10-4 good buddy.’ For those who aren’t familiar with the lingo, ‘breaker breaker’ is slang for ‘I want to start a transmission with you’ and ‘10-4’ means ‘acknowledged’ or even ‘I hear you loud and clear.’ It can also be used to emphasize agreement. In others words, to the Christian it’s much like saying ‘Amen.’ You could also say, ‘copy that,’ which means ‘I hear you’ or ‘understood’ I was hearing God clearly as He nudged me to start that transmission with Him, and so, I acknowledged His ‘Breaker breaker’ with my ‘10-4 good buddy.’ Good buddy–well, that one’s pretty straight forward, it’s a stereotypical term for friend or an acquaintance. Isn’t it amazingly wonderful that we can be friends with God!?
A STRANGE NEW LANGUAGE
I stood in amazement for what did I hear
But a strange new language that was strange to my ear
It was all full of numbers and queer sounding names
A thing called C-B’r was the name of the game
One said that the modulation was good
But it sounded like Greek from where I stood
The other one stated that the skip had died down
Could it mean that they had put a poor man in the ground?
The breakers said they were coming in fine
Perhaps they were swimming at some other time
My head went in circles and I couldn’t quite tell
The difference between Q.S.L. or XYL
If only they’d show me their Spitfire set
I might understand this new language yet
But all I could do was stand back and say
Oh, Mr. C-B’r please show me the way!
–My Grandpa James, known by his buddies as “Uncle Jim”–
While I’d been asking for some of the things that I needed, asking for help with my health, or for strength even, just hadn’t occurred to me. Again, I had accepted or assumed, that His grace would be sufficient for me as well. To tell you the truth, the day “my eagle” made its appearance I assumed a lot of things. As this season in my life progressed, however, I found myself confused when things didn’t get better; they became worse instead! God again beckoned me to come to Him in prayer. I was almost convinced, that in my excitement I must have jumped the gun, so to speak. However, before I venture further with these thoughts, perhaps I should get to that splainin,’ and tell you “my eagle” story!
That Summer day, when “my eagle” made its appearance, the sky was clear, and the sun was shining, making it a perfect day for a walk. I never used to pray on my walks, and I don’t always, but at some point in time, this too seemed like a good idea. Right off the bat, I was speaking plainly to God, saying this: ‘Nothing’s working, I can’t figure this out, Lord. I’m so fatigued, and it’s getting more challenging just to get out and walk. I could really use Your help with this.’ He knows all of this, but apparently He still wants it voiced. He wants us to engage in that “transmission.” A transmission, by the way, is the process of passing something from one person or place to another, so God wants us to pass our needs and concerns up to Him in heaven.
Just as I prayed those last words I heard an eagle’s cry. Searching the sky, I spotted “my eagle” and my mind went immediately to Isaiah 40:31. Looking back, I guess one could say that God’s return transmission was received!
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” –Isaiah 40:31
As I watched “my eagle” soaring above, I thought to myself, ‘That was such a cool reminder!’ However, I wasn’t sure if God had orchestrated this. Had He really provided an eagle at that very moment? Was this just coincidence or wishful thinking? It felt too “coincidental” to me that just as I’m praying for strength, I’d receive a visual reminder to wait on my Father in heaven for that renewing of my strength. It wouldn’t be the first time He’s provided a sign that brought me comfort, peace, and reassurance. I kept walking and praying. I also continued to think about “my eagle.”
At this point in time, I’d been reading through the Bible cover to cover. I needed the refresher course. The Old Testament, in particular, was where I felt I could use so much more understanding. This time through, disappointingly, things weren’t becoming any clearer to me. Feeling as if I was still missing things, this was beginning to frustrate and bother me. As I continued my walk, I brought this up with the Lord as well, asking Him to please help me see what I’m just not seeing.
I was now on the home stretch, when I suddenly wondered if “my eagle” was still within view. I’d just asked for more help when I lifted my eyes, so I was surprised at what was seeing! It wasn’t “my eagle!” Instead, a convocation of eagles now circled the sky just ahead of me! Immediately, I began to count them. When I counted 7 of them, I had no doubt that this was God’s doing. I was also convinced that my original eagle was from Him as well.
“In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the LORD, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign.” — 2 Chronicles 32:24
My smile couldn’t have become any wider as I walked the rest of the way home. I was on cloud nine even! If you’d have seen me walking down the street that day, I’m sure you would have thought that I was a girl in love. In fact, I was and I am! I was thrilled! Believing that God had heard me, I felt as if He was reassuring me that He was with me. I was also certain that this sign meant that He would provide. My hope soared that day. I’m sure you’ll have no problem understanding then, why I happily exclaim “My eagle!” whenever I sight one.
Since then, the journey has definitely been interesting, even if health matters are still somewhere up in the air. To tell you the truth, a lot of things are up in the air right now, but I have no doubt that things are progressing exactly as God has planned. From my impatient human standard, however, this can sometimes feel like a steady snails pace. Regardless, I know that God isn’t slow like we understand slow. (2 Peter 3:9) Though I’m not always patient when it comes to His timing, I’m learning. I’m also thankful that my emotions, for the most part, are stable again. Now, I’m feeling as I was before my storm ever hit: quite content and excited to wait and see what God will do with the rest of this story!
In all my excitement, what I originally assumed was that God was showing me that he’d heal me. (My hope, my dream, and my prayer is that He will heal both Andrew and I.) I’m pretty convinced that it’s just a matter of His timing, but Instead of physical healing thus far, He’s taught us to weather the storms. When new medication sent me into sort of a “tail spin,” I had to learn to lean on Jesus even more, relying on the truth as opposed to how I felt. I can’t depend on those feelings when I’m depressed. I can’t even depend on my feelings when I’m not depressed! Because things didn’t go as I’d hoped, I was initially confused by this detour, but that confusion was only temporary. I still don’t believe this is the whole story.
I dream big, and I know that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, so I haven’t abandoned my original assumption of healing. Knowing that God is working, I won’t give up on that miracle. Help with my health isn’t the only miracle that I’ve been asking of Him. Because of this, He recently reminded me–through song–that some miracles take time. (See the song at the end of this post.) He’s so kind to continue reminding me and assuring me that He’s working. I can see that He is, so I’m determined that I’ll be patient. I’ll also give Him the benefit of the doubt, should I have any doubts arise.
It wasn’t until I was writing this piece that I learned that a group of eagles is called a convocation. If you look up the word convocation you’ll find this definition:
- A large formal assembly of people
- A formal ceremony at a college or university, as for the conferring of awards
- The action of calling people together for a large formal assembly.
I don’t know for certain what my 7 Eagles mean, other than the fact that I knew it was a sign from God, but I do understand that I’m never “soaring” alone; not only does He go before me, I have some very much appreciated and cherished “flying buddies” who’ve also been “flying” alongside me as I continue to learn to wait upon Him. Mercifully, I’ve received encouragement, and all the help that I’ve so needed. He’s even been opening my eyes to that new insight I’ve desired, helping me to dig up those treasures in the pages of the Old Testament. No matter the weather, I know that God will sustain us as He assembles us together for His purpose. Even more wonderful, to me, is the thought that He will keep working, as we wait patiently for the day when He will assemble all of His children together, and to Him forever.
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” –1 Thessalonians 4:16- 17
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for everything. ❤ You are so gracious, even with those “bumps” in the road. I know our “bumps” draw us closer to You; they teach us things we could never learn otherwise. I don’t have a 100% clear understanding of what, when, how and why You will proceed, but I do understand that the story unfolds with every word that You speak, so copy that and 10-4 good buddy!
“The new Radio Flyer wagons were named as a tribute to two famous men of the day: Marconi and Lindbergh. Italian inventor and engineer Guglielmo Marconi developed, demonstrated, and marketed the first successful long-distance wireless telegraph and in 1901 broadcast the first transatlantic radio signal.Charles Lindbergh completed the first solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic in 1927. Combining those two marvels, Pasin christened his new metal wagons “Radio Flyer”.” (quoted from Wikipedia)
My Two Way Radio
How nice to have a radio, on a cold and blustery night
The magic of it’s static fills my heart with sweet delight
For while T.V. is O.K and playing cards is fine
I’d sooner spend an evening on this old two way of mine.
I think of nights so long ago when I’d stay up real late
I didn’t have a radio so I heard no one go ten-eight (In service, subject to call)
But things are very different now and I really have a ball
Listening to my two way and waiting for a wall.
I know exactly who is home and who is out and why
The kind of rig he’s using and the kind he wouldn’t buy
I know when he is mobile, be it Jim, or Jack, or Joe
I’m up on all the going on, with my two way radio.
I know when there is trouble and I know when there is none
I wouldn’t part with this radio and miss out on all the fun
So, when this old world I leave behind and I am gone to heaven
Please bury me with my old two way, so to friends, I can say ten-seven. (signing off)
— “Uncle Jim”–
Grandpa James and Uncle Frank
“Though I don’t have all the answers, I will trust you just the same” –Lincoln Brewster/While I Wait