Today is my 20th anniversary for my baptism. While there is a tremendous story around the events of my baptism, I’ll save this for another day. What I’d like to capture is what I believe is the gift from God on my 20th anniversary, which is the reminder of Eagles. Let me explain.
Last night, I had a meeting with an elder of the church and we were having a discussion around God’s will and hearing God’s voice. In prior posts, I’ve painted the picture of God’s general and specific will using the backyard analogy. Most Christ-followers easily get the “general” will of God; however, the challenge centers around listening to God and truly hearing a “specific” calling. This topic is one of deep theological study and pondering which I don’t intend to even scratch the surface today. What I do want to capture is a thought regarding discernment of God’s voice.
As you can read in many my blog post, I’ve not been shy about sharing interactions I have felt I’m having with God. It’s my belief that he’s communicating with us all the time if we’d only listen. The challenge becomes in our interpretation of what He is saying directly to us through scripture, circumstances, people, and various other means of communication. I’ve had times where I’ve know very clearly God was speaking, however, I haven’t had that confident that I’m interpreting what is being said appropriately. Well, one of the takeaways last night was that we must always filter the individual circumstances through our 30,000′ view of God’s will. Without staying focused on the 30,000′ view, we’ll sometimes get caught up in the storm due to our inability to truly interpret day to day interactions with God appropriately. Make sense? If so, call me because I’m still working on this one and would love someone to explain it to me even more clearly! HA HA!
So, where is this going with Eagles? Let me continue on. Later in the evening last night, I received a phone call from a gentlemen who’s fallen on tough times in his marriage. I won’t get into the details of the situation, however, will say that I spent last Thursday night with him and a pastor praying that he would truly surrender the situation to Christ and fix his eyes on his personal relationship with Christ through this storm in his life. He in fact has done this with Easter weekend being wonderful timing, and there is hope in his relationship in his marriage. One of the things, he shared with me was a verse: Isaiah 40:31 (ESV) “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” He continued to share that God had reminded him of this verse Monday and that he’s always had a love for eagles for some reason. He even shared that he’d posted the picture and devotional referenced in today’s post on his Facebook profile. The caption says: “When a storm is coming, all other birds seek shelter. The Eagle alone avoids the storm by flying above it. So, in the storms of life…May Your Heart Sore Like An Eagle.” Great stuff, right? Well, there is still a bit more to the story.
This morning I woke and for the past few weeks I’ve had one our students with our high school ministry sharing his daily devotional verse via text with me. Yes, it always seems to show up about the time I’m in my daily devotion and normally has some encouragement to me. So, imagine the smile on my face as I saw today’s versus being Isaiah 40:31. Yep, same verse which we were reflecting upon last night. Some say coincidence, I say you don’t know my God! He’s communicating to us all the time if we’d only listen.
This reoccurrence of Eagles caused me to reflect upon the meaning of my name. While not always perfectly interpreted, I ran across the following some time ago.
Christopher – carry Christ in my heart
David – beloved or dearly loved
Arnold – eagle power, rule
Yes, “eagle power”! Adding to this, I was the State Championship quarterback of the SPHS “EAGLES”, my kids schools mascot is the “EAGLES”, and numerous other “eagle” stories, I would have to admit that my friend last night isn’t the only one who has a special place for eagles in his life.
So, on my 20th baptism anniversary, God has given me a gift with the reminder of “eagles” in my life. The specific application for me today is to remain focused on “flying above the storms”and not letting daily circumstances to take my eye off the overall mission I have to “carry Christ in my heart, be dearly loved and love dearly, and soar like an eagle”. May this also be an encouragement to you today as well!