• Barb Lownsbury

The Butterfly and the Eagle

I had this vision once. In it, I was a butterfly. I had managed to escape pitch-black waters where I was about to be eaten, and had landed in a beautiful, verdant meadow. Everything was new. Everything was lush and fresh. I sat on a thick branch of a stout tree, slowly flapping my wings, drying off, regaining my strength and soaking in the beauty of the meadow.

This overwhelming feeling of delight and peace washed over me. In my heart, I never wanted to leave the meadow. I couldn’t imagine a more picturesque place. I sat on that branch in awe that I had not only been rescued, but that this incredible space was where God would allow me to land.

After my wings had dried, I began to float around the meadow in that bouncy way butterflies do, admiring the scenery. Suddenly, a majestic eagle swooped down and carefully scooped me up in its talons. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the power of this mighty bird, yet incredibly safe and protected as I sat within its hold.

The eagle lifted me up from the meadow and soared with me over mountains and rivers, toward a gorgeous setting sun. I was profoundly struck in that moment by the realization that there was no way a butterfly (me) could see what I was seeing on its own. My very wings would be destroyed if I traveled alone at that speed; I didn’t have the strength to fly anywhere near that high. Yet tucked safely in the eagle’s grip, I could see incredible beauty and grandeur. I could experience sensations and go to heights I could never reach alone.

Unbidden tears streamed silently down my face as the implications of what I was being shown hit me: God was the eagle. He rescued me from dark waters and imminent destruction. He allowed me to heal and rest, to bask in the safety and freshness of the meadow, only to take me higher, to places I could never experience or even conceive of if I were making the journey on my own.

When we’re struggling, no matter how big or small our struggle is, it’s easy to focus on the dark waters we’re striving to escape. It’s also easy to think the place of rest we finally find ourselves in, because it’s amazing, is the best it’s going to be. What I love about God, what I’ve come to deeply understand, is that He leads me to even greater heights when I rest in Him. He rescues me from darkness and will take me places spiritually, emotionally and physically I never knew I could go. In short, when I rest in His arms, He carries me on a more remarkable journey than I could of ever conceived for myself.

What about you? Are you trapped in the shadows, trying to break out into the sun? Have you finally found your way back to His sunlight where you’re being refreshed and recharged? Wherever you find yourself, God is in the branch just behind you, waiting. When you’re ready, will you let Him swoop down, scoop you up, and take you to new heights? Will you let Him lead you on a journey of faith bigger than you can imagine? I hope so! I hope we, all of us, open our hearts to not just living a good life, but to living a remarkable journey of faith.

For Further Thought: “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights,” (Psalm 18:32-33).

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart,” (Psalm 91:4).

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1314 Bourdeaux Way, Dayton, Ohio 45458

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