I recently started reading through the Bible, and remembered that last fall as I was doing the Seamless Study I had printed off my Great-grandmother’s (Mammaw) notes on Genesis. Momma had her Bible and went through typing up her notes - we have Genesis, Matthew, and Revelations. Some of her notes say where she got her ideas, and some don’t - I’ll do my best to give credit where it’s due. As I read through Genesis, I decided to use Mammaw’s notes (MN) as an extra commentary to what was in the Jesus Bible (JB), and my daily reading plan (DR). I won’t be doing a full dive like I did with Mark, but as I go and feel the Lord wanting me to share with you, I will! If you want quick thoughts along the way you can follow my tinycast over at Heart-to-Hearts on itunes.
So many of the notes from Mammaw are mind blowing, but this first one I’m sharing stopped me in my thoughts and after having some other thoughts brewing surrounding this for awhile now, I figured it was time to share.
What the Bible Says
And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
The bird is still more wonderful. It is held to the earth by gravity but by another power (air and wind) it can overcome this. No bird can fly without wind, so if there is none, he makes his own wind by flapping his wings. Soon he will tire of this. However on windy days, he soars high.
The lesson for us is that God wants us to fly above the old world and have victory over the pull of the world. In the OT, the same word is used for WIND and SPIRIT. The SPIRIT is to the Christian like the wind is to the birds. It is the SPIRIT alone who gives victory over the old nature which continually pulls and holds us down. We need to extend our wings by faith, yield to the Heavenly wind, lean on the Holy Spirit and He will lift us up into the life of Victory.
More of the Spirit in our lives yields less energy of the flesh. Even with lots of flapping, activity, efforts, meetings - how little do we produce.
More wind; less flapping.
“Oh my goodness. I’ll never see birds the same way ever again,” was what I immediately wrote down and then I sat there in silence because of how the Spirit was washing over my heart that day. A few months prior to reading these notes, I sat crying on my aunt’s couch saying “I feel like I’ve done everything right in my life and feel like I’m constantly missing out on what I want”. I knew that wasn’t really how God worked, but in the moment that’s exactly how I felt. I had grown tired of doing good. Umm...hello, sounds like that bird up there who grew tired of flapping its own wings right? Galatians 9:6 says “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” There are so many ‘good’ things on my plate right now (still trying to figure out what I put there vs what God has put there) and I’ll admit some of them I do because I feel like I’m supposed to and there are some that I genuinely love doing because I know they bring Him glory and they light up my heart...they cause me to soar. But clearly somewhere along the way, maybe even without me being fully aware, I began to flap my own wings.
More flapping; less wind. Exhausted.
Allow me to go on a little tangent will ya? In my online business world, we have a viral hashtag #communityovercompetition* that is supposed to inspire working together to build up the community and instead of tearing each other down. With the comparison game fueled by constantly scrolling through social media, it’s definitely relevant to the non-business world too. We have no idea what others are going through on the other side of that little screen. And to be honest, we’re not sharing our true selves all the time either. AD, we get it, what’s this got to do with birds, wind, and flapping wings? So glad you asked.
In college, my mentor Franklin told my accountability partner and I a different way to look at Isaiah 40:28-31:
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
First, let’s go ahead and sit in the knowledge that the Everlasting God NEVER grows tired or weary. He also wants to take on our burdens and exchange them for His (1 Peter 5:7 & Matthew 11:30). But what Frank told us that was there will be times when we are soaring, times when we are running, and yes, even times when we’re walking. But the good news is even if you feel like you're just running to keep up with those soaring or barely putting one foot in front of the other with those who are running nowhere in sight...we won’t burn out. The God who doesn’t get tired gives us enough wind to keep us walking without fainting, to keep us running when He’s called us to run, and we can only truly soar with His wind in our wings.
I am in no way saying we spend all of our time soaring. We will go through each of the different stages, and we may never truly know what stage our friends are in. Remember, it’s not about comparing your stage to others, but maybe we can be a bit more honest and help support those in our own communities. It is about having confidence in this...He has you where He wants you and 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, “The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it”. Rest assured, He has given us the Spirit so that we can always have the wind in our wings.