My daughter is not a huge fan of birds. This lack of love began quite unexpectedly one day many years ago, when as a little girl, during a visit to the zoo we decided to go into the enclosed bird exhibit. We thought it would be fun. You know the exhibit, it’s supposed to be an awesome little experience. You get a cup of nectar, hold it in one of your hands and proceed to let the birds drink from the cup. This sounded great to her! That is, until the birds all began flying towards her… That’s when the idea of “fun” turned into the idea to “run”. These little, fast flying creatures with sharp beaks, well…they just didn’t work for her 😳
To this day she keeps a “safe” distance from any and all birds; and you can rest assured that you’ll never catch her throwing bread out to them at a park; let alone holding a cup of nectar for them to drink from.
I tell you this backstory, to bring you to present day and to tell you how God recently spoke to me at, what I found to be, an unexpected time. We (my now 21 year old daughter and I) were visiting my mom and dad. They just so happen to have a female Quaker parrot, named Lolita. Lolita’s “not so friendly” ways have done nothing to help convince my daughter to give birds another chance. Nope; not happening.
Anyhow during our visit, as is always the case, Lolita’s cage is open; and she walks in and out of it freely. My mother gets her wings clipped so there’s no risk that she can fly about. Still, my daughter always sits as far from the cage as possible; and even before we’ve completely entered the family room where her cage is, she always poses the question: “Are her wings clipped?”, to which my mother always replies, “Yes”.
Always, except on this particular visit.
On this occasion my mother’s reply was: “No, I stopped having them clipped a while ago.” Then proceeded to say, “But she (Lolita) got so used to having them clipped, she no longer tries to fly.. because she thinks she can’t.”
The moment those words escaped my mother’s mouth, God’s spirit immediately brought to my mind how this is often what happens to so many of us. Myself, most definitely, included. How many times in your life, have you stopped pursuing a dream or an idea due to the memories of the past? The memories of falling short on an endeavor or the discouraging words of others; as they snip away at your hopes and desires; not to mention the enemy himself as he makes you feel inferior to any possible contribution you can make for the Gospel’s sake. All of those things, and there are plenty others, are like “shears” clipping and cutting (a little here; a little there) at our God-given wings. And their memories keep us from flying long after the snipping has stopped; for we become so used to standing safely on the ground; free of failure or criticism, that we forget we CAN still fly. Often, like a bird with its talons dug deep into a tree limb, we’ve stood so firmly in that “safe place” that we’ve long forgotten the actual desire or idea we even had to begin with. Think about it. Where have you given up the hope of spreading your wings to fly? What were your desires before the world, Satan, and fear clipped your wings? You may have to think hard to bring some of them back to the surface; but do it. Grab hold of them again, spread your wings; and take off in flight to pursue them; especially if you believe God has called you to it.
And while you’re at it, remember this: There is no snipping; clipping; cutting….no ANYTHING that God cannot restore and redeem. And here’s the irony and beauty of that: It’s when you STAND FIRM in this knowledge that YOU WILL FLY to heights you never could have imagined.
I hope to see you FLY.
Isaiah 40:31 “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”