I’ve always heard to “wait on the Lord.” That those who do will run but not faint. They will rise up on wings like eagles. I never understood any of it. But then I heard this story about how mother eagles teach their young to fly. Eagles nest way up there in the mountains, on cliffs and crags. You can’t just throw the babies over the edge and hope they learn on the way down. Except, that is exactly what mother eagles do.
Then, something amazing happens.
No, the babies don’t magically fly on the first try. Because, like everything in life, you can only learn by doing. What does happen is even more cool: the mothers catch them. On their backs. They fly up under their young and catch them. Then they fly them back to the nest until the next series of flying lessons. (I’m not crying – YOU’RE crying!)
In this scenario, we are the baby eagles. Falling and terrified. Because how is this possibly going to end well? I’m dying. Right now. I’m falling and dying and no one cares. My own mother pushed me out of the nest to fall to my death.
And then: a swoop and a save. A gentle catch. And I’m rising again, impossibly alive.
That’s what happened to me today. I’m not going to lie. I’ve been pretty suicidal these last few days. I felt the ground rushing up to meet me. Financial stress, loneliness, the divorce, living in a rental with lots of mold, not much mental bandwidth to focus on a larger purpose, not knowing what to do with my life or where to live or even if it’s all worth the effort.
Things have happened today to make me think that all these problems are conquerable. As I was on my knees thanking God for His Providence, I realized that this is exactly what we are waiting on when we wait on the Lord: his awesome Providence. His swoop and catch.
It has been so tempting the last few days to rage and demand. To try to force things to work. My car is in the shop. I’m low on groceries. Low on funds (less than a dollar in the account yesterday evening with the electric bill due today). The trash needs to be taken to the collection point.
I told my friend Quinn, “I need to take my trash out, but I don’t have my car!” He said, “So just wait until you get your car back.” As a person of action, I found this answer annoying. I mean, I could call and impose on my neighbors, couldn’t I? Shouldn’t I? But I decided to wait.
And now today, I got an offer not only from the Honda dealer of a loaner car, but also an offer from my mom of a ride to take me to the Honda dealer (which is over an hour away from me, two and half from her) to pick up said loaner car.
It’s not just that. Plans for the future are taking shape and coalescing out of the swirling darkness of nothing that I thought was my future. Ways of making them happen financially are kind of becoming clear, too.
I feel like God let me fall an exceptionally long way this time. But I also feel like I had the most practice at learning to fly. I mean, I can’t fly. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not over. I may be on God’s back right now, hanging out, enjoying the ride, gaining a little altitude. But I know I’ll be dropped – over and over and over. And it’s going to suck each time. The ground will rush up to meet me, and I will probably panic every freaking time until this life is over. Except. Maybe? Maybe I won’t.