The God who leads us beside still waters is also the God of our most disturbing provocations.
As an eagle stirreth up her nest … so the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. – Deuteronomy 32:11-12 (KJV)
Social grievance and angry protests across the country. School systems thrown into quandary over online leaning. Stagnant business operations and economic growth. Racial tensions at boiling levels. Political polarization and personal stress. Over-zealous policing and under-funded mental health resources. Mounting pressures imposed by an unabated pandemic. Social malaise spiraling upwards.
The daily disruptions we encounter are more than just disquieting. They run deep and shake the institutional foundations that once constituted our social order. The Coronavirus and the virulent strife over longstanding racial injustice have upended the world as we once knew it.
We look to God and Scripture for avenues of relief from the mounting tensions. If we look closely, what we find are not reliefs from our turmoil but reasons to engage it. The God who leads us beside still waters is also the God of our most disturbing provocations.
“As the eagle stirreth up her nest, so the Lord alone led Israel.”
For eagles, the first step in learning how to fly is to get out of the nest. The very structure upon which the nest is built must be left behind if the eaglets are to realize their wings and find their potential in the air.
The transition from comfortable nest to airborne ascension cannot be completely stable and secure. Real progress is often accompanied by drastic disturbance.
Great Disrupter, thank you for wings that will not conform to the constraints of our nests. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.