Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An Eagle and Steadfast Presence

Those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint.
                    --Isaiah 40:31

I live in the Pacific Northwest.  Pantheism, a belief that God is nature, is probably extremely common in my corner of the world. Pantheists don't need church, they just need a hike with Mt. Rainier in view and they're in God and all spiritual needs are vanquished.

The Celtic Christians have a belief in panentheism.  The extra syllable changes the meaning to belief that God is IN nature.  Nature is a testimony and witness to the majesty of God.  I thought of this distinction this morning as a drama played out on the river outside my office window.  A belted Kingfisher fell from

the tree on which it was sitting.  It dropped into the river and emerged with a small fish, and it lighted on the retaining wall to enjoy it's breakfast.  Almost immediately, a bald eagle swooped up the bank of the river and zoomed in on the poor Kingfisher's breakfast.  The fish was snatched away, and up the river the huge bird flew.  A pantheist would marvel at that as God at work.  I, a panentheist, was reminded of the eagle passage from Isaiah above.

Those who hope in the Lord... are lifted up as though on eagles wings.  We can walk and not faint, run and not grow weary.  So strength for my day comes from the reminder of God's presence triggered by a majestic conflict between the eagle and Kingfisher.  God is ever present in the wings of one's life.  God hopes all the time for us to turn, see, and hear a reminder of His steadfast love through all the different means He sows.  Nature is just one of many.  Blessings on your day, and prayers for each of you reading this that you'll feel the lifting Presence carrying you through your day and evening.  Amen.  

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