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Dark though the shadows just now may be,
Soon through the midst a pathway you’ll see;
Faith to the promise unfailing clings,
God’s on the throne and prayer changes things!
These words of encouragement bring you Meditation Moments again.
We’re reading from God’s Word, Psalms 55—a portion of this scripture:
“Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not Thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me and hear me. I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is sore pained within me and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.”
If you’re reading with me, it’s Psalm 55. Now we are coming to the verses we want you to note especially. “And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then I would fly away and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off and remain in the wilderness. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and the tempest.” (Psalm 55:1–8)
Here is one, the psalmist of old, who wants wings; he’s crying for wings, that he can get away from things. He wants to get away from the tempest of troubles and the storm that rages about his soul. There are lots of folks who feel like they’d just love to run away from everything; they are tired or burdened with many responsibilities, and they’d like to get away from the pressure of it all. The verse of scripture reads, “If I had the wings of a dove, then I would fly away and be at rest.”
Did you ever feel that way? Like you wanted to get away from everything but you just couldn’t? So many people are talking about vacations today. If they could just get away from the house for a while, away from business, or even away from the children, and get a little quiet and a little rest; away from the work and the worries that you’ve been tied down to. You want to be quiet and restful for a while.
That’s the cry of so many hearts: “Oh that I had the wings of a dove; I would fly away and be at rest.” That’s the cry of hundreds of unsatisfied yearning hearts. But earthly wings would never do you any good, for you can’t fly far enough away from your trouble. You can’t fly away from yourself. Your own heart with all its burdens and problems goes with you wherever you go.
But thank God, God has provided wings to get away—a way above all this narrow, crawling existence. He has wings for you if you’ll use them! Your soul was made to mount up with wings, and it can never be satisfied with earthly soaring. Like a captive eagle, your soul chafes and frets with the things of the world. So God has made a way for us when the pressure gets so great we can hardly bear it. And that wonderful way is to get alone with God.
Your soul is too big for this world. God made it for Himself, and sometimes the soul just mounts above it all, up to the bosom of God. I know some folks won’t be interested in this, when we say that the answer to this getting away is just prayer and getting alone till God will talk to your heart. They think that’s some kind of mystical thing that people imagine a lot about.
But there are multitudes that are listening to my voice at this moment that know that they can get away from worries and trials and the pressures in the secret place of prayer. They’ve had this definite experience. God has decreed it that way. God has decreed that prayer should be a power in the universe, as distinct, as real, as natural, and as uniform as the power of gravitation, or light, or electricity. If you’ll use it as trustingly, as soberly as you would any of these, then you’ll find the most wonderful miracles taking place in your life! The rest and repose and quiet will come to that soul that’s crying out to have wings, longing so to have wings.
These two scriptures, the first in Psalm 55:6–8 that I just read to you: “If I had wings I would fly away and be at rest. I would wander off and remain in the wilderness, I would escape,” the Scripture goes on. Then in Matthew 11:28–30 are these words: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden; I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
This brings a word of comfort to hearts that are tired and tempest-tossed and tried, and they find it hard to pull against the awful stream today, harassed and perplexed and looking and longing for a way of escape from the difficulties which compass us about.
When the psalmist uttered the words of this text, he was in a hard place. In verses 2 to 5 he said, “Attend unto me and hear me. I mourn in my complaint and make a noise, because of the voice of my enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they cast iniquity upon me and in wrath they hate me. My heart is sore pained within me.” Then he talks about the pains of death, and the terrors of death being upon him, that fearfulness and trembling that came upon him.
Not only do enemies oppress you, but I know that sometimes, like David the psalmist, you have to face the treachery of friends or some about you, as in verses 12 and 14 he says, “It was not an enemy that reproached me; I could have borne it had it been an enemy that reproached me: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him. But it was a man mine equal, my guide, mine acquaintance. We had taken sweet counsel together and walked into the house of God in company.”
That was a real trial, wasn’t it? Finally the burden of oppression became well-nigh unbearable and he wants to get away from it all, and he says: “Oh that I had the wings of a dove; I would fly away and I would be at rest.” The margin of a Newberry Bible has it: “Who will give me wings? I want wings. Oh that I had wings. I want to fly away from it all. I would wander off.”
Note there’s so many “I’s” along here. “I” would do this and “I” would do that and “I” would wander off, “I” would escape. You know, he’s wanted to escape, I think, from himself. But the Word of God is a continual warning to men to wait on God, and they will renew their strength in prayer and worship.
One of the reasons for our feeling that we want to escape and take the wings of a dove is that God has put in our hearts this very desire for something above the ordinary, to fly away above the circumstances and conditions and to rest in the heart of God.
We can’t ignore God’s way of renewal. God’s way of renewal is to come to Him, and pray, and talk it over with Him. Counsel with God. He says, “Come, let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1:18) God bless you, my friend, and help you in this, that you might cast your care upon Him. For Jesus’ sake we ask it.
God is still on the throne and prayer changes things.