Monday, November 17, 2014

Faithful Feathers

Have you ever seen God's wings or heard His feathers flap? I have!

As we traveled from meeting to meeting and church to church over the last five months, I shared this story whenever I had the opportunity. Maybe you've heard it, maybe not. If you have, I hope it made you realize how faithful our God is to meet our needs––even through condors. Maybe you haven't heard it yet. Allow me to share it again in print for those who missed it.

Two years ago my husband had Shingles. They healed in the usual amount time, about three weeks. Soon after, he collapsed in severe pain. Not knowing if he was having a heart attack or stroke, we rushed him to a clinic here in Cochabamba. That severe, excruciating pain lasted three to four hours. The doctors had given him all the drugs possible without compromising his health in other ways––I doubted they were doing all they could to relieve this unbearable pain. But, at least we knew it wasn't a heart attack or stroke.

Finally, after hours of suffering, the pain began to subside to some degree. Little did we know at the time that this pain would continue for six months because of a damaged nerve in Chuck's back caused by the Shingles.  I couldn't believe the first words to slip through his lips as he looked up into my eyes. "I am so hungry for a pizza." Not what I expected to hear from a man who just came through this painful ordeal. How could I refuse such a request? Here where we live, we don't have all the pizza shops one has access to in the USA so I went home to make a pizza and fulfill this suffering man's wish.

Fifteen years ago, while we were building our house, I insisted on having a big window in my kitchen. Looking out that window is a magnificent view of the mountain behind our house. Living in a foreign country without much access to fast food restaurants or even nearby restaurants, I spend many hours in the kitchen. I also teach teen girls baking and cooking classes, so much of my time is spent in my kitchen. I love my kitchen, and I love that window––even more so now than I could have ever imagined because of what I saw that day when I went home to make the love of my life a pizza.

As I whipped up the dough, I glanced out at that beautiful view through the bay window. It's a rocky mountain, dry and brown most of the time, but nevertheless a view of God's beautiful creation in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia. But this day, I didn't notice the mountain view. I saw a view of God. One that I had never before seen.

There, half way up the mountain sitting on a large, flat rock, sat two huge birds. Now, we've lived in our house 15 years and only once before had we seen a condor on this mountain. Condors are the Bolivian national bird––a rare site. I rushed for the binoculars and quickly returned to catch a glimpse of what I thought were condors. If you know nothing about condors, let me describe the size of this beautiful bird for you. They are on average four feet tall and have a wingspan of 10 feet. Amazing creatures. Gigantic birds!

Fumbling, I rushed to place the binoculars over my eyes. Then, I saw them. Yes, they were condors without a doubt. I stood in awe of these beautiful birds created by an awesome God. But that's not all. As I stood gazing with pure delight at what I was witnessing, something even more awesome happened. Both birds, at precisely the same time, spread their wings and stood there looking like statues. I could hardly breathe. God's beautiful creation stood on a mountaintop showing all His glory. A few verses came to mind. Psalms 91:3-5 "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and your rampart." 

I knew those birds were there for me. I was alone that day. I knew people were praying for us, but no one had any idea what we were going through at that moment. But, God knew. I wasn't alone in the scary situation that faced us. God was with us both. I felt God's love around me. His feathers squeezing me. His wings protecting me. I looked at those birds standing there, wings spread, and knew God had me under His wings as He did Chuck. But, not only was there one bird––a rare site in itself––but two birds–of course, one for Chuck and one for me. I saw those wings and I heard those feathers. I saw God through condors, and I knew God would take care of us. I rested, snuggled under His wings and surrounded by His faithful feathers.

The depth of God's love is unimaginable. He shows us His love daily, even through condors. He covers us with His wings always. He shows Himself to us in the condor moments. Expect the condor moments. Don't miss them. Look up, see God's wings and hear the flapping of His faithful feathers.

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