On wings of Eagles

“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (Psalm 91:4)

I was on my way to a conference along with my two brothers and two friends. One brother drove and the other brother sat near him in the front seat. I sat in the back with my friends. The conference was about two hours drive away and the road was one we took many times before.

As we drove, we talked and laughed and listened to music, not suspecting that soon we would experience the most frightening experience we ever had. For a brief moment, everything was quiet in the car until we heard a boom and the car began to veer out of control. The next few seconds were the longest we ever had, as the car started sliding quickly down the road, turning and hitting a wall on the road twice. I can’t recall how many times we turned around, everyone keeps saying something different. When the car finally stopped, it stood blocking a lane and a half.

At that moment, we all turned around to look at everyone else in the car, wanting to see if we are all okay. With fear, I saw the front glass broken, smashed, and my youngest brother not moving. I didn’t know what to do. Then, he turned his head towards my brother, and I saw he was okay. I breathed sigh of relief. My other brother, who drove the car, shouted to everyone to get out immediately, because the engine was smoking and he was concerned that it may may explode.. We got out so fast, I felt dizzy and had to sit down on the road. The car was a wreck. But miraculously, none of us was seriously injured.

A man who saw what happened, and was driving not too far behind, stopped near us to help and called the police and an ambulance. The whole accident, though very frightening and shaking, was nothing less than a series of miracles. We were driving on a highway, where thousands of cars drive every day. The moment of the accident, no car was near us, not in front and not in the back. If any car were nearby at the time, the results of the accident would have been terrible. One of the girls did not have her seatbelt on, and she sat in the middle, which means she could have flown to the front of the car.

The following events were miracles too. Even though the man who stopped near us called an ambulance and the police, within minutes, both arrived, but not the ones that were called. A detective and an off duty policemen saw us on the road and came to help and check us. A doctor who drove there also came to help and an ambulance that was carrying some gear, took us girls, who sat in the back, to the hospital. We had chest pain and some bruises and pain in other parts of our bodies.

It’s hard not to see God’s hand and protection in the event. Things could have ended a lot differently. The bruises we had were small and I had a fracture in the sternum. Okay, that’s not small, it’s actually very painfull. But I’m doing much better now. We were pretty shaken up, but through the whole thing, we could see God’s sovereignty and prtotection. It was a wake up call in a way. All of a sudden, I realized how things I do daily, were hard to do because of the injury. I was so grateful to be able to go to bed and wake up, having another day to live. God truly protected us, in so many ways.

We found out that a large nail that was in the road caused the punctured tire, which made the car turn quickly to the ditch. A nail. Stuck in the tire. Such a small thing caused such a mess, nearly costing lives. When thinking of this more in connection to our spiritual lives, how often do we let “nails” get in the way of our walk with God? Things that hinder our walk, don’t seem that big or problematic, get in the way sometimes unnoticed, just like that nail, that somehow got in the tire. We need to watch out for the way we walk and what we let in our lives, filtering things that try to force their way in our lives.

Talking with my friends, we know God has shown us much grace, and we need to be thankfull for all we have, never taking anything for granted, needing to examine our lives to make sure there are no “nails” hindering our walk.

A psalm that really encouraged me this week following the accident was psalm 91, telling of God’s sovereignty:

1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

To God be the glory!

Feeling God’s heart

“…my heart is turned within me, my compassions are kindled together” (Hosea 11:8).

I recently watched a movie called “Time Changer”. Although it is not a Hollywood quality production, it was well made and very moving. It dealt with the changing times, how society has changed for worse, morals are no longer rooted in God’s word, and believers are living in apathy. The plot, in short, so as not to spoil it for whoever wants to watch, is about a professor who writes a book in which he claims morals do not need to be explained according to God’s word. Meaning, stealing is wrong just because it’s wrong, but no need to say it’s wrong because God says so. A colleague of his sees a problem in such education, and sends him over a hundred years into the future. There, this professor sees the deteriorating society, how believers compromise over the truth, and more than that – when he is invited to go to a movie with a group from a church he visited, he is shocked when the name of The Lord is blasphemed on the screen. He runs out to try to stop the screening of the film and is viewed as crazy. When he conveys his feelings to the people from the church, they think he is legalistic and say they could have gone to worse movies. “It’s not that big a deal, it is only a movie”, they said. The movie goes on and the man is seen praying and feeling deep sadness over what his culture has become.

This man’s feelings, depict on the screen, what many prophets have said throughout the Bible, especially what Hosea said and felt.

Hosea was told by God to marry a harlot. Now this woman might have already been one when Hosea married her, or she might have become one after their marriage. Either way, Hosea suffered much from her behavior. He had a child from her, and then she conceived and gave birth twice more. Some scholars say it is possible the last two were not Hosea’s children, but a result of her prostitution. The Bible does not specifically say if that is the case. However, we can imagine that he might have wondered at times if they were, particularly if she conceived at the times she was out in the streets, betraying him.

How did Hosea feel? In the rest of the book, God describes the nation of Israel as one that had betrayed him, hurt him and turned her back on him. He has reached out many times with loving arms, yet Israel has chosen the idols and other gods instead. Hosea knew all too well the feeling God was conveying – a husband longing for his wife to return to him, willing to forgive her, hurting when others mock her, and wishing to wipe away her tears and disgrace.

Hosea felt God’s heart and his own heart was aching. In chapter 11, verse 8, we read God says “my heart is turned within me, my compassions are kindled together”. Here, God plainly shows His aching heart.

Our Lord Yeshua called out to the Jews of the time in Matthew 23:37-39 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’.” The Lord Yeshua’s heart was going out towards his people, full of compassion. Praise God for never leaving the nation of Israel and for loving the people whom He called with an everlasting love!

Do we feel God’s heart? I don’t know how many of us can say we know how Hosea felt. But do we care about what God cares? Do we love what he loves and hate what he hates? I know I still have a way to go to fully understand and feel as God does about things around me. I compromise, saying at times “it’s only a movie”, or “there isn’t anything we can do to change that”, or “it’s just a show”. But, what if we as believers stopped compromising and being apathetic and started acting as salt should act? Stopping corruption and deterioration. What if we said blaspheming on the screen is wrong and we didn’t go to see a movie just because that is in it, if we didn’t watch a show with homosexuals, even if it’s a reality show, because it is giving them a platform and showing it is okay and normal to do what they do? What if a movie is about other gods – is it still just a movie? What if we stopped compromising on the way we dress, the language we use, the attitude we have towards one another, the way we interact with each other? What if we showed more love, compassion and reflected God’s love to our brothers and sisters in Messiah Yeshua?

What if we were different and started to make an impact? I’m not perfect, and do not claim to be. I am a work in progress. But, for a long time, I have had this feeling – what if I felt God’s heart? What would change first of all in me? And then, what can I do to change society around me? Do I ache as I see mockery on the streets, in schools, on screen? Do I long for my people to return to the loving hands of God, who’s heart is turning within him?

The man in the movie was called legalistic. That is not the question here. It is whether or not we follow God’s word. Period. I pray that I will feel God’s heart. That requires drawing closer and closer to him. I want that. And I hope that we as a nation, the nation of Israel, will return to the loving arms who raised them, and call out to our Lord Yeshua and that the church will strive to keep itself as a pure bride, without blemish, waiting for her groom.

© Hannah Kramer