“And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant.”
How easy it is for us to lose appreciation for the beauties of this life. Sometimes I take for granted the gifts that You have given to me. I can breathe. I can see. I can hear. I can walk. I can talk. I have a home. I have love. I have You. Thank You!
It is certainly unnecessary to say that turning conviction into action requires great sacrifice. It may mean renouncing or separating ourselves from specific people or things, leaving us with a strange sense of deprivation and loneliness. Therefore the person who will ultimately soar like an eagle to the heights of the cloudless day and live in the sunshine of God must be content to live a relatively lonely life.
There are no birds that live in as much solitude as eagles, for they never fly in flocks. Rarely can even two eagles be seen together. And a life that is dedicated to God knows divine fellowship, no matter how many human friendships have had to be forfeited along the way.
God seeks “eagle people,” for no one ever comes into the full realization of the best things of God in his spiritual life without learning to walk alone with him. We see Abraham alone “in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities … near Sodom” (Genesis 13:12). Moses, although educated in all the wisdom of Egypt, had to spend forty years alone with God in the desert. And Paul, who was filled with all the knowledge of the Greeks and who “studied under Gamaliel” (Acts 22:3), was required, after meeting Jesus, to go “into Arabia” (Galatians 1:17) to learn of the desert life with God.
… God knows how to change our circumstances in order to isolate us. And once we yield to him and he takes us through an experience of isolation, we are no longer dependent upon those around us, although we still love them as much as before. Then we realize that he has done a new work within us and that the wings of our soul have learned to soar in loftier air …
He has “trodden the winepress alone” (Isaiah 63:3) for us. Therefore, are we prepared for a time of “glorious isolation” rather than to fail him?
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. [Hebrews 13:15]
When we pray to God, most of the time we gloss over praising God. Instead, we cut to the chase and just ask God to bless us, our children, and heal our neighbors. Yet we serve a powerful God. One who deserves to be recognized and admired for His love, power, and grace. Let's spend a few moments talking to God by sharing our love and honor for Him. Isn't He glorious?