The Life of Wings

This is an excerpt from Hannah Whitall's, "The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life." I hope it will be a blessing to you as it has been to me.

This “Cry for wings” is as old as humanity. Our souls were made to “mount up with wings” and can never be satisfied with anything short of flying. Like the captive-born eagle that feels the instinct of flight, and chafes and frets at its imprisonment, hardly knowing what it longs for, so do our souls cry out for freedom. We can never rest on earth, and long to “fly away” from all that so holds, hampers, and imprisons us here. We try to escape by running east or west, north or south, ignorantly thinking to get away from trouble; and often discover we have run from a lion only to meet a bear or be bitten by a serpent in our place of supposed safety. We might name our wings Surrender and Trust. By these, we’re carried into a spiritual plane of the “life hid with Christ in God,” a life utterly independent of circumstances, that no cage can imprison and no shackles bind. Things look very differently to the caterpillar, creeping along the ground, once its wings are developed and it soars in the air as a butterfly. Similarly, the crawling soul that has "mounted up with wings” will see things in a new way. To overcome means to “come over,” not be crushed under; and the soul on wings flies over the world and the things of it. They lose their power to hold or bind the spirit that is made in very truth “more than conqueror." Birds overcome the lower law of gravitation by the higher law of flight; the soul on wings overcomes the lower law of sin and misery and bondage, by the higher law of spiritual flying, the “law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” Why do not all Christians triumph? They do not mount up with wings, but live on the same low level with their circumstances, powerless against trials and sorrows, overcome by and crushed under them. A friend once told me the difference between three of her friends. She said if all three should come to a spiritual mountain, the first would tunnel through it with hard and wearisome labor; the second would meander around it, hardly knowing where she was going, yet because her aim was right, she would get around it a at last; the third, would just flap her wings and fly right over it. If any of us try to tunnel through or meander around mountains in our way, we must rise into the clear atmosphere of God’s presence, where it will be easy to overcome. The largest wings cannot lift a bird one inch upward unless they are used. We must use the wings we already have: Surrender and Trust, or they will avail us nothing. From high places we shall see things through the eyes of Christ that change our lives! Instead of stirring up strife and bitterness, we will escape by simply spreading our wings and mounting up to where our eyes see all things covered with a mantle of Christian love and pity. If either Surrender or Trust are wounded, we cannot fly. No earthly bars can imprison the soul, only barriers between us and the Lord from doubt and some indulged sin. The Lord warded of this danger in the story of those so burdened by earthly cares they could not come to the great supper. The flying I mean is a principle. Although joyous emotion may accompany, flying does not depend on it, just on entire surrender and absolute trust. A great deal of emotional flying is life a feather driven upward by a strong puff of wind, then fluttering down when the wind ceases. The Promise is sure: “They that wait upon the Lord SHALL mount up with wings as eagles.” Not “may perhaps mount up” but SHALL! May we prove it for ourselves.

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