This Week's Verse: Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."(NASB)
The other morning, my kids and I witnessed a beautiful occurrence. Out of our window, we watched as a mom and dad bird taught their babies how to fly. The little ones were perched around the lattice on our deck. Mom and Dad flew back and forth from there to a nearby arbor and retaining wall, trying to coax the little fuzz-heads to follow suit.
Sure enough, with their parents' attentive chirping (bird-language encouragement?), the little ones took flight one by one. Short little “fly-jumps” turned to bolder, longer flights. The parents were there during the whole process.
Boy, if that scenario isn't ripe for life application, I don't know what is!
I felt a lump form in my throat as I thought about how soon my own little lovies will be flying our coop, leaving our nest empty. I wondered if Mom and Dad Bird had such a bitter-sweet feeling or if instinct simply spurred them to start preparing for their next brood. I smiled, imagining them offering up little birdie prayers of protection over their young. Regardless, they set an awesome parental example of preparing our own young to launch into adulthood.
From the time our kids are helpless newborns, we begin a gradual process of equipping them little by little to become independent. They start moving themselves, feeding themselves, expressing themselves, dressing themselves, asserting themselves, eventually transporting themselves, and finally, even paying for themselves! We exert a little less control with each milestone and relinquish more control to them as they prove worthy.
Then one day they're ready to take flight. And we pray like crazy that everything they've been taught has taken root and that they'll follow after God. That while they taste independence for the first time, they still depend on God. We pray that the wings we've given them will take them far, but that they experience the fulfilled promise in Isaiah 40:31: "But 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"(NIV).
May that be true for them. And may that be true for us as we continue to soar to new heights on the winds of God's grace and power. As illustrated by the bird family that blessed my kids and me, the best training tool is leading by example.
Lord, how we thank You for giving us wings to take flight--for Your constant presence that give us the confidence to even attempt such a thing! Equip us to impart that same tender-loving presence with our children and that they take flight knowing it's You who allows them to soar. In Jesus' Name.Application: In what ways are you preparing your brood to take flight? Consider maturity in all its areas, including physical, emotional, psychological, and especially spiritual. In what ways can you lead by example?
Matthew 6:26, "Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?"(NLT)
Psalm 124:7, "We've flown free from their fangs, free of their traps, free as a bird. Their grip is broken; we're free as a bird in flight."(MSG)
Isaiah 54:13, "I will teach all your children,and they will enjoy great peace."(NLT)