Part of our services involve a sharing time at the beginning of the service to talk about what God has been doing in our lives as a way to offer encouragement, ask for prayer and grow together as a family. Because of the personal things that can be shared during these times, they aren’t posted as audio on the website. However, there was a great vision that someone had during the week and it led to a discussion that became a beautiful illustration of how we are meant to live and more specifically, what our purpose is.
The illustration is this; there is a bird on a roof, and this particular bird is walking back and forth along the roof. It gets close to the edge and seems like it wants to fly, but then turns back around and walks to the other side only to repeat the process. The thought that came along with that picture was, “you’re a bird, you’re meant to fly, you’re meant to soar, that’s your purpose, why are you just walking on the roof, you’re missing so much”. That’s part 1. Part 2 was added by someone else.
There is a bird sitting on a telephone wire. There are 2 lines that it can sit on; the one is the telephone line, a small thin wire that isn’t entirely stable, especially in a breeze. The 2nd wire is the power line. It’s thick and stable even in a strong wind. The bird had chosen to sit on the thin telephone wire and in the wind; the bird had to constantly use its wings to steady itself and was shifting positions on a regular basis in order to stay on the wire. After quite a while, it finally jumped over to the thick power line and once it was there, it was stable and could simply rest.
You may be able to see where this is headed. We are those birds, created for something specific. Yet, we spend so much of our time walking along the roof, getting close to the edge, but not jumping off and using our wings. Just as God created the birds with wings for the purpose of flight and soaring in the sky, we are created to live the life that He has for us. His perfect will for us is the best life for us. This doesn’t mean a life without hardship, trials, or temptation. Actually, His will for us will most likely contain those items. “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 (NIV). “33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”” John 16:33 (NIV). But, those are there for us to grow, for us to recognize that we are in desperate need of Him and that He will provide. We still have a choice, and we continually exercise that choice, sometimes following His will, sometimes turning back from it. The encouragement from this is to be bold. “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB). He has created us to be bold for His sake. When He calls us to fly, we open are wings and we fly. When he calls us to rest, we rest in Him. This leads to part 2.
The rest that He has for us is the thick power line. It is a place where we are under His wings, not swayed by the winds of this world that threaten to knock us off of our perch. The bird that was on the small telephone line was attempting to rest, but wasn’t able to because it was constantly jostled by the wind. Only when we rest in Him can we truly rest. Everything else is the appearance of rest, which still takes a tremendous amount of energy and ultimately will fail us. The small telephone wire is our human strength and our way of living life when it doesn’t line up with His word and His character. Without His stability, the wind of the world will make us shift position and will compromise our rest and ultimately will knock us from our perch if we are not secured to Him. And like the 2nd part of the illustration, that thick wire of His rest is a mere jump away, if only we could recognize that it’s there and it’s what we need.
When it’s sunny, a bird has wings to fly. In a hard wind, a bird has wings to fly. Even through the storm, a bird has wings to fly. We have been given His word and Spirit as our wings to fly. In the sunshine, in the wind, even in the storm He is our wings. Birds have been created with wings allowing them to defy gravity and we have been given wings to defy the power of this world that tries to pull us away from God. To soar, the way we were designed. Our purpose in life is to be everything that God has called us to be. He knows us, “13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.S)" data-cr="#cen-NIV-16253S">14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.X)" data-cr="#cen-NIV-16255X">16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV). His plans for us are the best, so much better than anything we could achieve on our own. Our rest is in Him; our flight is in and toward Him. In all things we should strive to remain in Him, because He is our Great, Mighty, Gentle, Loving Father.