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Broken Wings

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The teaser for a feature segment on a local TV station promised a story about a monarch butterfly, a meteorologist, and super glue. It worked–I was curious, and I watched the story.

I knew that this is the time of year monarchs are preparing for their migration south. They are enjoying the nectar of the last, ragged zinnias; braving prickly lavender thistles; and resting in the clouds of purple aster blossoms before they fly to Mexico.

Except the butterfly in the news. Her wings weren’t working, and she wasn’t going anywhere.

The meteorologist in this story is also a pilot and has repaired airplane wings, so he has a special set of skills. He carefully glued the butterfly’s wings back together–twice. He and his girlfriend had compassion for the monarch and showed mercy.

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What if our wings are broken, and we can’t fly? What if life injures us so badly that we can’t do the things we were created to do? We need someone who knows how to rebuild our lives, someone who knows how to fly, someone with skill, someone with power . . . and lots of super glue.

We need a mighty Savior who is the great Healer.

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When John the Baptist’s messengers came to Jesus and asked Him if He was The One (the Messiah), Jesus answered with the prophetic words of Isaiah.

Go back to John and tell him all you have seen and heard here today: how those who were blind can see. The lame are walking without a limp. The lepers are completely healed. The deaf can hear again. The dead come back to life. And the poor are hearing the Good News.   Luke 7:22   TLB

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Jesus was The One. The one with the skill, the knowledge, and the power to heal us, body and soul.

In Jesus we find more than just the ability to help us–He wants to help us.

He is gracious and kind and extends mercy and grace to each of us. Even if physical healing isn’t His best plan for us in this world, he offers healing for our sin-damaged souls and compassion to comfort our broken hearts.

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But I will restore you to health
    and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord,

Jeremiah 30:17   NIV

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God, pick up the pieces.
Put me back together again.
    Jeremiah 17:14   MSG

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 I bless the holy name of God with all my heart.  Yes, I will bless the Lord and not forget the glorious things he does for me.   Psalm 103:1,2   TLB

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He forgives all my sins. He heals me. He ransoms me from hell. He surrounds me with loving-kindness and tender mercies.   Psalm 103:3,4   TLB

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He is merciful and tender toward those who don’t deserve it; he is slow to get angry and full of kindness and love.  Psalm 103:8   TLB

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Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.   2 Corinthians 4:17   MSG

So even if your wings are splinted and super-glued together, the Lord is healing you.

You will fly again.

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That butterfly in the news story, perched on the woman”s shoulder–do you remember her name?

It’s “Grace.” Her name means “kindness, love, mercy.” The little monarch received mercy and grace, and so can we.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.   Hebrews 4:16   NIV

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All photos (except zinnias) by Barb Briggs

Impossible Bees or The Back Story

Just in case you weren’t familiar with the reference in this week’s post and title, “But what if you fly?” here is the entire poem by Erin Hanson.

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Did you know that these photos of bumble bees in flight were “impossible?”

Barb Briggs, the photographer, described the craziness of the hours spent trying to photograph the bees in flight.

In fact, someone . . . suggested I stop trying, that bees were too small to photograph successfully with my equipment. But I didn’t take the advice, and so glad I didn’t.”

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Barb searched for ways to carry out God’s plan instead of looking for excuses as to why it couldn’t be done.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”   Mark 10:27   NIV

But what if you fly?

Impossible.

Can’t.

Out of the question.

Won’t work.

Has God ever placed a task in front of you, and your response was more “fight and flight” than obedience? I have all kinds of excuses (reasons, I tell myself). I can’t. I haven’t. I don’t. I’ll fail. I’ll fall. It would take a miracle. It’s just impossible.

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Then I remember the impossible bumble bees. Didn’t a scientist “prove” that their wings don’t have enough lift for the size of their body and the weight of the pollen they carry? The calculations said they shouldn’t be able to fly.

Except bumble bees do fly.

That scientist hadn’t taken into account the mechanics of the movement of the bees’ wings. They move more like helicopter than airplanes. They fly!

The impossible is possible. Sometimes we get the explanation of how this comes to be, as we do with the bumble bee, and sometimes we rest in the belief that we will understand someday.

I remember Abraham and God’s impossible promise to him, and how Abraham’s faith led him to believe that God was able to do what He’d promised: to give him a son who would become a nation.

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Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,  being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.   Romans 4:18-21   NIV

I pray for that kind of faith. When God calls, I want to say, “Here I am,” the way Samuel did. I want to look for ways to carry out God’s plan instead of looking for excuses that it can’t be done. I want to be “fully persuaded” as Abraham was, so that when he was asked to give up his son, he believed that God could do the impossible.

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I found a poem I’d written many years ago, called “Abraham,” and thought it fit today’s theme.

*

I peer over the edge of the precipice

at grazing sheep, insect-like below,

wondering if I dare

take the first step and walk

on the breath of the warm winds that brush my face.

Or will I plummet, arms flailing, cursing my foolishness?

*

All the plans, the God-breathed promises

for the future of my children

and my children’s children . . .

Did I imagine Your voice?

Was it just a dream, a nighttime fog

that evaporates in the scorching sunlight of reason?

*

Questions plague me like gnats,

doubts like biting flies.

What kind of God do I serve,

to ask this foolish sacrifice,

to bid me to take a fateful step in faith?

*

But You were good yesterday.

You are good today,

and I believe You will be good in all my tomorrows.

So I will take the step

and, upheld by the very air of Your breath,

I will fly.

*

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My prayer for us all:

that we answer “Here I am” when God calls and that we learn to “fly” in faith.

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