Kites or birds? Relaxing on the glorious beaches of Cancun, we were completely mesmerized by these statuesque birds hovering above us. We never saw them flap their wings no matter how long we stared at them. They seemed to float on the wind. Every day twenty or more specimen hung above us, as if God was suspending them from an invisible string coming out of the sky. They were like no other birds we had ever seen. Something caused me to believe there was a spiritual lesson to be learned. But it wasn’t until I returned home that I discovered on Google that these were Frigatebirds who rode warm air currents over tropical oceans. Able to stay air bound for over a week at a time, these birds snatched most of their food on the wing, seldom landing on water or sand. I learned that Frigatebirds are essentially aerial; they aren’t wing-flappers…they just soar. It sounded like a verse in the Bible.
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength and mount up with wings as eagles.” What a picture of my unrest–I confess to being a “wing-flapper.” Whenever I try to help God out by manipulating circumstances to my liking, I become one. Ever been there? Instead of resting in Him about about our concerns, our motherly instincts take over. We’re used to fixing everything and everyone in sight–that’s our role as mom, right? I must control; I must have it my way. Mom knows best! There’s nothing wrong with prayerfully planning or preparing for the future, but wing-flapping won’t get us there. When we’re in daily communion with the Lord through prayer and Bible study, we’ll find it easier to discover where His winds are blowing and how to spread our wings to soar in His direction. It’s not about trying to get God to go where I want Him to go, but willingly moving where He is taking me. The Frigatebirds of Cancun knew how to rest on the supporting winds beneath their wings. How often do we need to catch the warm currents of God’s plan and time, and not gallop along on things of our own making. It’s then we soar like eagles (or the kite-ish Frigatebirds) suspended by an invisible hand that helps us soar way above our cares and concerns.
Goad-kicking isn’t any better. Paul was a goad-kicker. Remember the story. He was on the road to Damascus when a light from heaven blinded him and a voice said, “Paul, why are you persecuting me? It is dangerous and it will turn out badly for you to keep kicking against the goad (to offer vain and perilous resistance).” Goads were pointed sticks used to urge cattle to move along. If the animals obey, the goads won’t hurt them. In the same way, oxen move painlessly as long as they don’t pull against the yoke around their neck. The pain comes with resistance. Solomon wrote that God’s words of wisdom were like prodding goads. God’s Word will transform us if we pay attention to what He says. Things will go better for us if we don’t resist the prodding. Let’s not be goad-kickers!
God labeled Israel as “stiff-necked.” He longed for them to submit and obey with wholehearted trust in the God who does all things well. But they didn’t like their difficult circumstances. Too many tests and trials. They resorted to complaining. They pulled against God instead of working with Him. Resistance brought them more pain. God has a better plan than our manipulating (wing-flapping) or resisting (goad-kicking) will every bring about. It’s called faith.
Without faith we can’t please God, and that’s what He requires in the midst of difficult circumstances. He doesn’t want us to flap our human wings of reason and pursue works of the flesh, any more than He wants us to resist the urging of the Holy Spirit to move with and wait on God. “Waiting” isn’t passively sitting by and doing nothing, but is actually defined as braiding God’s Word into the core of our being so all of our thoughts and desires flow from Him. Moms are so used to fixing things for our children that we find it very difficult to let go and entrust them to God’s care. Our children don’t need us flapping our wings all the time. Nor do they need us kicking against the goads. There are times to fight and there are times to rest–this is God’s plan. It’s a matter of seeking Him daily to know the difference. Do I step in to move my child out of a difficult situation or do I trust that God put them there to grow them? May the Lord help us allow Him to have full reign over our family’s lives. Consider your wing-flapping and goad-kicking moments. Ask the Lord to help you release your concerns to Him. Stop resisting His urges. You’ll find it’s a lot more fun to soar.