Thursday, July 23, 2009


"But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles." Isaiah 40:31

I was thinking about the fears I have in my life especially my fear of flying and of heights. I'm a white-knuckle airline traveler. I don't sit up in a balcony. I don't like elevators. I don't even wear high heeled shoes! I prefer to keep my feet on the ground at all times. I'm not extremely adventurous. I don't take risks. Lately I've noticed how these fears have spilled over in my spiritual life and I'm afraid to 'mount up with wings as eagles' and soar to heights with Christ.

While vacationing in Florida with my family four years ago, I suggested we try the new 'Soaring' ride at Epcot. I guess I really didn't know what was ahead of me - and I later understood both the look of sheer shock that appeared on my husband's face when I mentioned that we try this attraction, and the speed in which he quickly raced us towards the ride before I could change my mind.

When our 'flight attendant' came out to give us last minute instructions and those wonderful warnings and health risks, I could feel my pulse begin to beat faster. What on earth was I doing here? To afraid to move, I found myself being pushed forward by all the other passengers as the doors opened and we were seated in our 'gliders'. We were asked to firmly secure handbags, caps, and loose articles in a compartment below our seats, and then a 'steward' came around to ensure that we were all tightly fastened and belted in. My heart was racing so quickly at this point, I just began to pray that God would help me endure this ride and get me off safely. I was seated between my husband and my 13 year old son who were both trying to reassure me how much fun I was going to have on this ride.

Suddenly lights dimmed and our 'glider' began to rise. As gusts of wind began to take my breath away, my hands flew to my face to cover my mouth and nose and I shut my eyes tightly. This is how I remained for most of the ride. Occasionally I took little peaks out between fingers still firmly placed over my face, and saw glimpses of spectacular views.

Finally, the ride came to an end and I realized I was still alive - I had survived.

As we left this attraction God began to speak quietly to my heart. "Joy, I want you to do more than survive life. I want you to live it to the full. I want you to mount up with wings like eagles. I want you to soar". As this ride was called, "Soaring" - I suddenly turned to my husband and said, "Let's do that again". He looked at me strangely. He knew I had hated every second of that experience, but I said, "This time, I want to keep my eyes wide open".

What a thrill this second time around was for me. I don't want to go through life with my eyes closed. I want to live the adventure. We are held hostage and paralyzed by the things that frighten us. There is a children's book that asks the reader to 'imagine a day when you don't need wings to soar'. A song I heard recently has lyrics that say, "It's time for you to fly. It's time to soar on eagles wings. Don't be afraid you're not alone, so lift your head up high. It's time for you to fly". God has designed us to live life fully and Christ came to enable us to live out that design. Christ will empower us to live an abundant life. Are you tapping in to all the power that God has made available to you? Have you made personal all that God has made possible?

God has been telling me that it's time for me to fly...and the great thing is...I don't have to put one foot on an airplane to do so. I just need to surrender myself to the arms of Christ and He'll carry me to heights unknown.

"Those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles" Isaiah 40:31 (The Message)

Will you come and fly with me?

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~Grace and Peace said...


I love that verse. It is one of my favorites. It holds a special place in my heart because I remember reading this over and over again to my Mom during her last days in the ICU.

God has been stirring my soul, Joy and it's scary. Why else would he bring you, Lysa TerKeurst and a host of other P31 women in my path? I do not know what He wants me to do. It's something but I can't figure it out yet. It feels like I'm in a holding pattern. (Though I am not sure if it is God-imposed or self-imposed.)

Nevertheless, when my time comes, I want to experience it like you did at that ride. With eyes wide open.

Soar, sister, soar!

Danielle said...

Oh, how this speaks to my heart. I feel like I'm in the 'eyes wide open' part right now with She Speaks fast approaching. Although I am very excited to go, there is some fear there and like I've said I don't know how many times now, I just have to keep my trust in God that He knows what He's doing. After all, He is leading me there... and I know He will never lead one of His astray.

Thank you so much for sharing this! I was wonderful!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

You said it here first ... time to fly ... to NC!!!!! In January. I mean it. Start saving your pennies now and get yourself on a plane; either that or grow some wings!

My friends just put in a zip line through the forest over here. There is a harness with your name on it!


Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I had tears in my eyes as I read this today! I have SO many of the same fears as you do. Maybe even MORE than you do cause I can't see me on that ride! And yet the tears today were not because of the fears but because I see how God has brought you so far! I want to learn to trust Him like you do! I have had several things come up recently that threw me into a lot of anxiety and I end up getting mad at myself because I can't stay UN-afraid! Pray that I will learn to soar with Jesus and leave my fears behind!

Thanks for the encouragement today Friend!

Love ya,

Unreasonable Grace said...

Joy, I was laughing most of the way through your story - both the reaction of your husband and your reaction to the height sounded a lot like me. I'm not a risk-taker either, so in more ways than the physical, I've not allowed myself to soar often. Great thoughts and insights! I will ponder these scriptures.

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

wow girl, this confirmation for something today. Great post my friend, as always!

Will you be at She Speaks? Cindy from Army Brats and I were talking today trying to get a bloggy meet up some how with her, she's not attending the conference but would love to meet with everyone. let me know if you are! :)