That saying is on a magnet I got when I was in my twenties. The theme comes back to me often. This post is the one I wrote last Wednesday, the day I was supposed to get on the plane to go to my stepmom’s wedding in Napa California. This came after two weeks before that in the ER for right side pain, and a week before that gallbladder surgery. Then my daughter was sick for a week, like really sick. But it wasn’t Covid. She was just taking forever to get better and right before we were getting ready to leave, she took a turn for the worse. Her fever was staying at 101 and 102 and she was very uncomfortable, so much we both had to sleep with her on the cool porch.
The night before, I was packing up until midnight like we were still going. Everything in me was ready and just waiting for God to give me a clear answer. Wednesday morning her sickness gave it to me. I was so bummed. We were so bummed. I can’t tell you how sad I was when I had to hit the cancel button on our flight. My heart was broken. Everything in me wanted to be there. But somehow God had a different plan. So, when God gives you a completely different plan, you try to listen for His voice and hear why He may be doing that. On that day I stayed home, I decided to go for a walk which is often a space that He speaks and boy did He.
When you follow the Lord, the things He reveals when you’ve been waiting to hear from Him are things you can only know from a mind that is transformed by God. I never could have come to these thoughts on my own.
“Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
I looked at my watch and ironically it was about the time the plane would take off that I started to walk. When I took the turn on my street I was reminded how God can take you down one road and then he makes a hard turn, which is exactly what he did. So, I kept walking…
Then I saw this hawk soaring above. Usually you see them dive for prey but this one wasn’t. He just kept soaring for a good 15 minutes and I was reminded of this Blippi episode with Ellie the other day where he was at this museum and the lady was showing him a hawk. She said it was a special kind of hawk who has big wings that are better for soaring than catching prey. That just made me think, huh.
This hawk didn’t dive. He just kept soaring and I heard, “It’s time to soar, Meredith.” When I thought of the hawk diving for prey I thought of how our hearts can get when we’ve got bitterness, jealously or we want to blame someone for something.
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?“
The world tells us to follow our hearts but Scripture tells us our hearts are deceitful! You know what the next verse says about who can understand it?
Verse 10, “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
It’s the LORD who searches our hearts and examines our minds and let me tell you, ever since I’ve been doing these combo prayer Bible study of the movie War Room and the book, “Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer,” by Priscilla Shirer, the enemy has been attacking. But the Lord has been TEACHING. Boy has He been teaching my heart.
You know so often, especially in recovery, you think you’ve made an amend to someone, that you don’t have any bitterness left. (In recovery we have to look at our hearts or it can make us return to our addiction). But then you find out there is some lingering that you may not have even known was there.
I think of the hawk diving for prey like us going into fight or flight mode with things that upset us. We’re on guard and we may not be on the attack, but our hearts are standing at the ready to just dive for that prey. That’s when the Lord reveals it!
The enemy loves loves to take hostage of our minds and make things bigger than they are in our heads. He makes us hold onto things for years that don’t serve us so we never live up to our God-given potential. He loves when we get stuck overthinking. God gives us peace in the storm. The enemy stirs up chaos – internally. He’s a thief.
Remember, “The thief comes only to kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” John 10:10
Do you KNOW the things, the people, the situations in your life the enemy uses to distract you, and keep you focused on what isn’t going right? What about the people you are trying to control? Do you know how hard he’s trying to keep you in that place so that you never look up? Friend, you have GOT to get to know what these things are and pray for God to reveal them so you can address them as He searches your heart.
To me, having a life to the full means soaring. It doesn’t mean my life is perfect and I’m always soaring. But it does mean I’m calling out the enemy when he’s trying to steal my peace with God! It’s not some perfect, undisturbed, unshaken or unraveled life. It’s a life where I have to be vigilant about how the enemy attacks and the Lord has been helping me do just that.
I know full well that God sometimes shakes us up to grow us, to teach us, to test us and prepare us for the next level. I live my life leaning on the Lord. The further I get down this road, the more I realize I can’t go through anything without Him. I am completely weak without Him. I am desperate for Jesus. I want to be a better person with a better heart that is renewed in Christ. I don’t want to do things on my own. In fact, when I think I can I want the Lord to point out to me that I can’t. I just want to keep growing spiritually, digging deeper and learning what it is He wants to teach me. Life in Christ is truly so much better than anything this earth can give you. There is no one on earth whose approval, or acceptance, inclusion or affirmation that can compare to that which the Lord gives. We are victors with Him. We never have to be victims. That is the glorious reality when you follow Jesus.
Let me add one more thing. I always like to dig deeper to the root, to find out what’s really going on when we’re going THROUGH something. When I had my gallbladder out, I wondered what was going on spiritually that this was happening. I read some things about how the gallbladder is where we can often hold onto anger and resentment (how funny is that?) I’m a big believer that God always wants to heal us. He wants to break off the dead branches that don’t bear fruit and I do believe He sometimes does this in our bodies. I believe removing it, He wanted me to work on removing that stuff emotionally. I’ve already seen since not getting on that plane how much this is true. So, when you are trying to soar on your own power and then you dive for your prey because you want to win, think about what’s really going on in your heart. Is your prey someone or something you are bitter at?
If so, I believe God wants to help you soar. So listen for His voice.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
When God presents to you situations to grow you, don’t miss what He’s trying to teach you through the experience.
I pray if you’re in this place that the Lord uses my experience to reveal something to you about the posture of your heart. I pray the Holy Spirit shows you exactly what that is, in his time and his way so you can begin to let go and heal and rest in Him.
There’s just something about our plans and when the Lord changes them abruptly. It’s painful when you aren’t clear of his will but when he brings you through that storm? Oh man, it’s just like the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen in which he reminds you, “I never went anywhere. I brought you through and I will bring you through whatever is next.”
I want close by giving you a song here to listen to. It’s one of the ones I listened to on this walk. God bless you.