Category: Wilderness

Oh, that I had wings

Oh that I had wings…

“Oh, that I had wings like a dove!

I would fly away and be at rest;

yes, I would wander far away;

I would lodge in the wilderness,

I would hurry to find a shelter

from the raging wind and tempest.”

Psalm 65: 6-8 E.S.V.

From time to time, most of us, have sighed and wished that we too could spread wings and fly away, to find that place of peace; far away from the noise of our enemy; from grudging anger, that we don’t deserve, from, those our friends, who are at loggerheads with one another… and strive with all their might to draw us into their noisy, vindictive quarrels. We just want to …. fly away…

I woke up at 5:15am this morning with just such a thought, and turning over, it seemed to me, I turned into the arms of the Lord.

There is no better, safer place to fly, when troubled, than to the Lord. Like Noah who put out his hand to take in the returning dove with olive twig in its beak – the Lord is always eager to draw us quickly into the Ark of his presence – to his heart.

Now, King David was a man of war, but not I think from choice, we read of the time when he had his enemy in his grasp but did not kill him (1Samuel 26) after all the writer of Ecclesiastes tells us, there is a time for war, and a time for peace – a time for every matter (E.S.V.) under heaven – and so, I believe it is with most of God’s people. Blessed are the Peacemakers, but their task is not easy, except we have a Lord and God who understands and in whose welcoming arms we find not only consolation but when our mind and heart are stilled, wisdom, guidance: so, having rested awhile, we take flight once again, on eagle’s wings.

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no-one will see the Lord.”

Hebrews 12: 14
It is so easy, Lord,
To lose heart,
And wish to be
The other side of the sea,
Putting oceans, wildernesses, mountains
In between us and them -
Strengthen us Lord,
Weary, troubled,
We look for you
And will find you
When we seek,you with all our heart.

We desire to come
Like Noah’s Dove, bearing our
Twigs plucked from
The Olive tree

Then Good Lord,
With kindly hand bring us
Into your heart
To rest awhile;
Then send us out again
Bearers of Good News,
The Peace of Christ to the world.

Amen
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Fortunate and blessed

I am fortunate, I am blessed with a large garden~ My own little wilderness

During the past few few days, I have spent much time out in my wilderness, chopping, pruning, digging, planting and just sitting, looking, listening

Just sitting, I have been visited, by small elusive birds, cheekier and noisier larger ones and the butterflies

Orange-Tip
(Anthocharis cardamines)

Birds, looking for food in their eating place, the little ones careful to avoid the bigger, bossier ones and a squabble, and the spring butterflies searching for nectar amongst the flowers. All at peace. All at rest.

Why can’t the world always be so quiet, so calm at rest?

I am distracted by thoughts of Elijah being fed by the ravens and because it is sunny, and hot my butterfly thoughts flitted back to a visit to Italy, Subiaco and Santo Speco where Saint Benedict lived as a hermit, in a rocky wilderness of his own. Saint Benedict also had help from Ravens. A hard, difficult climb to his cave, here was another man of God … on the run: like Moses from Pharaoh, like Elijah, like David from King Saul. Sometimes harsh, wild places are to be preferred to harsh, wild, angry kings and enemies.

Statue of St Bendict
Entrance to the cave where he lived.

I recalled thinking at that time, what a hard and difficult way to live! Sitting in my chair, with my kitchen door and food and clean water a few feet away; it was not easy to picture, to imagine the rigours of life lived in such unfriendly environments of true wilderness. From the beginning the wild places, wilderness and desert have been not only the hiding places but also the birthing places of God’s people. It was in the wilderness that the people of Israel were shaped, where John the Baptist cried out to make straight the way of the Lord, where Jesus was tested by Satan and prevailed.

I have an idea that no one truly chooses to live in the wilderness but that our Father chooses them and then the wilderness to prepare them until ready, equipped, character formed, strengthened and empowered they are ready for the next stage of their life, and Life in Christ is never going to be easy.

Right now, there are millions of God’s children who with no regular public worship, feel kind of lost, in some kind of wilderness of our own. We are not lost. The Shepherd knows where each lamb is. In His time, the Lord will bring us out, a people ready.

Father, through all our wandering be our guide. Teach us that the safest place to be, is that place where You are. You are, and You alone our Rock, our Strength. It is You who provides our Daily Bread and water from Living Fountains. Neither fierce heat by day, frosty cold by night, plague, storm, the enemy without or the enemy within can overcome your children and You make us more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ.