In Bible Study one day, our pastor of Women’s Ministries told a story of sitting by a lake watching a seagull circling over the water. The bird started in the middle, and flew in a wider and wider circle until it was circling the whole lake. Suddenly an updraft lifted the bird to another level and, unsettled, it began circling small in the center again. Just as before, the bird settled into its new elevation and the circles became smoother and larger until it had mastered the pattern once again. This happened several times and, each time the bird was lifted by an updraft, it was by no effort of its own that it rose to a higher level. Each time adjustments had to be made, and each time the pattern became smooth and controlled once again.
This is how God works with us. As we circle around and around on our level of experience, God, in His timing—by no effort of our own—suddenly sends an “updraft” to lift us to a new level. It can be unsettling at first, and we must take the time to focus on our balance and get our flight pattern back under control. We may be insecure or frightened at first; we may feel pushed and want to retreat. Yet the currents are too strong because it is God’s wind beneath our wings; and as we are faithful to keep on flying—patiently doing what we know to do—we will even out, relax and settle into a smooth pattern again. Without question, there will certainly be another place along the route where a new updraft will naturally lift us to yet a higher plane; and each time we lean into His will our faith will become stronger, and every time we allow ourselves to rest in His strength our trust will grow.
God knows what we need, when we need it; how much we can handle at a time and how long before we are ready for another updraft. He knows the strength of our wings and of our hearts; and he watches us intently, caring about the details of every level of our lives and waiting patiently until we are ready to go higher. We can trust Him; His ways are perfect; and He will never let us flounder or fall. We just need to keep flying, and ride on the currents of His grace.
by Rebecca bryan-Howell