O Israel, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case? Have you never heard or understood? Don’t you know that the LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; He offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:27-31 NLT)
Do you ever feel as though you’re in the midst of a storm like the little bird in the picture? When I saw the picture of this little guy, it just touched my heart — probably because I feel just like that sometimes… When the bills are mounting, but the income has dried up… When the pain is great, and the medication doesn’t touch it… When it feels like you’ve lost your very best friend… When fear surrounds you… Sometimes the storms just rage against us and we have trouble on every side.
Have you ever been there? Are you there now? I am. The winds are raging and howling all around me, and like that little bird, I’ve hunkered down and bowed my head, as the rain, the snow and the sleet pelt against my skin like shards of glass, cutting me and tormenting me.
And it’s right there, in the midst of the storm, as I bow my head, that something begins to change, though the storm still rages on every side of me. In the instant that I bow my head to my God and my Savior, and admit to Him that I am weak and unable to survive this storm on my own, that He begins to softly speak to me, encouraging me, blessing me and giving me hope.
“… “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”
(Isaiah 43:1b-2 NLT)
Do you see that? Even though I may feel as though I’m all alone, like that little birdie, He is with me, loving me, ransoming me, protecting me from the storms of torment, the rivers of difficulty, and the flames of destruction. He’s there for you too, if you will call upon Him. He continues to speak to me, telling me that He never grows faint or weary, and if I will just wait on Him through this storm, that He will renew my strength, and I will mount up with wings like eagles. Ha! Did you catch that? If I will just wait on him, this little birdie will mount up with powerful eagle’s wings, instead of my puny little sparrow wings.
He tells me that I will run and not be weary… It’s been a long, long time since I could run, but I sure would like to run again. He says that I will walk and not faint… It’s been so terribly long since I could walk without it sapping every bit of my strength, leaving me crying out sometimes because of the pain… And all I have to do is wait and ride this storm out, keeping my head bowed to the One who made me, like the good little birdie in the picture.
As I keep my head bowed in the midst of this storm, I’m honest with my Lord. He tells me that He is renewing my strength, but I tell Him the truth of how I really feel, “Lord, I know You said that You are renewing my strength, but I don’t feel strong. In fact, I feel very weak.” He’s not insulted or angry when I tell Him this, not at all. He just gently smiles at me and says:
“Beloved… My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness…”
(2 Corinthians 12:9b NKJV)
Salvation is not just about going to heaven. Salvation begins here and now, on planet earth. Salvation includes healing and deliverance. Sometimes He heals us physically, and sometimes not. I don’t know why. His ways are not mine, and neither are His thoughts. You see, He’s much smarter than I am, and much more loving and kind than I am. He sees the big picture in the whole scheme of things, while I only see tiny fragments of it.
I do know that He is always willing to heal our spirit and our soul, if we will allow Him to do so. The problem with that is that oftentimes, He has to lance our wounds, which is very painful, so that He can squeeze the infection of sin (both our sins and the sins others have committed against us) out of us. In order for us to completely heal, we have to be willing to walk through pain and suffering again, as we face those things that have long tormented and battered us… That’s why the waiting is so difficult.
Maybe you’re thinking to yourself that all of this is okay for some people, but God doesn’t really care about me. Oh Beloved, I understand those feelings, because that’s how I thought and felt for many years, but I was so wrong about that, and so are you. He does love you. That’s why He led you to read this post about the little birdie. Read these words that Jesus spoke to His disciples over two thousand years ago… the words that He is speaking to you right now:
“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill you. They can only kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to Him than a whole flock of sparrows.
(Matthew 10:28-31 NLT)
Beloved, look at that little bird in the picture again. God loves that little sparrow, and He made it strong and resilient, so that it could withstand the storm that is pounding against it. Now, if He cares that much about a little sparrow, how much more does He care for you? Jesus said that YOU are more valuable to God than a whole flock of those little sparrows!
Cheryl A. Showers