Jump Start # 2486
Psalms 55:6 “I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.”
Her name is Linda. And, this is her verse. She quoted this expression many times. Her children grew up hearing this verse over and over. She is a kind and sweet disciple of Jesus. I am blessed to consider her a friend. I have been to her home dozens of time and eaten many wonderful meals that she cooked. She is simple. She is hard working. The world would look right past her and declare that she is just a common nobody. But to the Lord, she is one of His. She took hold of the Lord’s hand and never looked back. For decades she taught Bible classes to children. All of my children were taught by her. She guided those curious hearts and energetic minds to the wonderful and powerful stories of the Bible. Throughout central Indiana I would expect that there are literally hundreds of Christians who were taught by this wonderful and gifted disciple of Jesus. I know this family. They are dear to me. Her two sons, her only children, both are preachers of the Gospel. That really doesn’t surprise anyone that knew her. It would be hard to grow up in this home and not have a deep love for the Lord and a cherished respect for God’s word.
And, now, sweet Linda, like the wings of a dove, got to fly home to the Lord, whom she has loved all of her life.
The setting of this verse is a tough one. It’s not one of those happy, sunshine passages of the Bible. What it is, is reality. It’s where many of us are. It’s dark days. It’s troublesome times. It’s are hearts being vexed and pained by evil around us. It’s seeing things that shouldn’t be. It’s wondering about justice, fairness and rightness.
The Psalmist declares that he is restless because of the voice of the wicked. He admits that he is in anguish. Fear, trembling, and horror overcome him. He prays for the Lord to end this reign of wickedness. Morning, noon and night he beseeches the Lord to hear him and to move quickly. He feels overwhelmed. He feels crushed and outnumbered. And, it is in this setting, that he wishes he could just fly away. “Oh, that I had the wings like a dove,” he pleads, “I would fly away and be at rest.”
Southwest Airlines used to run ads with the slogan, “Wanna get away?” There are times we do. There are times we get weary of going to work. Someone asks, “How long until you can retire?” We sigh. It’s so far out there, we don’t want to think about it. There are times folks in the city want to get away from all the noise, traffic and clutter and move out to the country. There are times when a mom looks at all the house work that needs to be done, kids that are fighting, and she just wants to get away. There comes a point when a student in college is tired of classes, papers and studying. The end is in sight and someone asks, “Are you going on for an advanced degree?” Not now. Just want to get away. Kids in sports feel this way. They have been playing team ball for years. Played through high school. Dad hopes they will go on and play in college. But they are burned out. They are tired of all the practices and traveling. They just want a normal life, whatever that is.
We all feel that way from time to time. Stress. Boredom. Feeling trapped. Feeling stuck. Believing the grass on the other side of the fence is not only greener, but better. We have to deal with these things. When we don’t, this is when some make foolish choices, such as walking out of a marriage or having an affair.
But for our Psalmist, it wasn’t the kids at home, or, work that made him feel this way. It was the atmosphere, the environment, the spiritual condition of those around him. Not only did they not follow the Lord, but they made his life uncomfortable because he did. It was tough. He wanted to get away.
The Lord, in the garden before the cross, asked if there was another way. But there wasn’t. Often times, there isn’t. We can’t leave this planet. We can’t build a monastery and all live together. That sounds wonderful, but God needs us out in the world. God needs us to be His light, His hands and His feet. God expects us to be busy in the kingdom.
Just imagine for a moment, what the world would look like if all of God’s people could fly away.
First, the world would be so much darker. There would be no spiritual light anywhere. Error, wickedness and falsehood would become the norm. There would be no places to worship. There would be no kindness, grace or forgiveness.
Second, there would be no one to remind others that they shouldn’t say certain things. There would be no one holding others to a higher standard. There would be no moral accountability. Right and wrong, would have no definitions. Wrong for one, may very well be right for another. There would be no absolute standard, because no one would know the word of God.
Third, hope, optimism and something to look forward to would be gone. Misery would prevail. Dark thoughts and dark days would occupy men’s minds. The hope of Heaven would be a distant pipe dream. Every funeral would end with the belief that this is it. There would be no reason and no motive to be good, honest or decent.
Oh, I understand the desire to have the wings of a dove and fly away. Every time I watch a Christian take their final breath and I realize that angels are carrying that soul to Paradise, I long to go with them. This world makes us tired. We get weary of lying politicians who bend and break the rules as they want. We get tired of Hollywood flaunting indecency and profaning the Lord’s holy name. We get tired of seeing people living for today and making shallow and vain choices to satisfy their desire to be happy and only happy.
Oh, just to fly out of this place. But we can’t. We shouldn’t. God needs us here. We are the only Bible that the world will ever see. The world needs to see marriages that thrive. The world needs to see grace and forgiveness in action. The world needs to see lives that have been changed because of Jesus. The world needs to see passionate worship that is Biblical and pleasing to the Lord. The world needs to see righteous hearts and character that surrounds Jesus Christ. The world needs to see unity that is real and cross based. The world needs to see hope. The world needs to see that we live for things beyond our own happiness. The world needs to see joy, commitment and dedication. The world needs to see us.
And, sweet Linda showed the world all of this. And, last week, it wasn’t doves, but it was the angels of Heaven that carried this kind soul to the Lord that she loved so much. This week I hold the honor of speaking at her funeral. This passage will forever remind me of this wonderful soul that simply did what we all ought to be doing, walking with the Lord daily and giving our all to those we love. A heart touched by Jesus is easy to spot. And, dear Linda certainly had such a heart.
Oh, that I had the wings of a dove…