Rise Above

“Anyone can rejoice when life is going well but maturity is defined by the quality of our celebration in oppositional circumstances. I think rejoicing is designed to give us an experience of God’s joy especially when we are in times of difficulty.”

Graham Cooke

I had a dream about wild dogs and mountain lions attacking innocent pets on the ground in a forest. Then I saw a bird. As she sang, she rose higher and higher. Her song of praise lifted her up above the fray and above the sound of the snarling aggressive beasts. The beasts slunk away.

I still have trouble walking very far, although I am much improved over last year. My desk is now in front of what we used to call a “picture window.” From here I can see rush hour traffic backed up at the lights a few blocks away, and the flashing lights of emergency vehicles speeding down the road. I can lift my eyes and see the hills and mountains covered with fresh white snow and above that the sunrise and ever-changing vista of the sky. I particularly appreciate the sky lately.

I’m wondering if we are in some sort of flyway because birds pass by my window all day long. I was never a birdwatcher before, but I am starting to pay attention. There’s an osprey that flies between its perch on a tall fir tree and the deck railing of a luxury apartment. Ducks, geese, crows, and seagulls are regulars. Even an eagle passed by at eye level a few days ago (too fast for me to grab my camera, alas).

I envy them. I wish I could fly. Then I am reminded that I can, in a way. Rejoicing, thanking God for his kind provision, and worshiping his goodness and lovingkindness raises my spirit above the fray where frightened angry people attack each other and prey on the innocent.

How much sky do you need? How much love and grace do you need? God is generous. He lavishes grace on those who respond to him. Don’t be afraid to enter his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise and ask for some.

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