He guarded him . . . like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him. (Deuteronomy 32: 10– 12)
Our almighty God is like a parent who delights in leading the tender children in His care to the very edge of a precipice and then shoving them off the cliff into nothing but air. He does this so they may learn that they already possess an as-yet-unrealized power of flight that can forever add to the pleasure and comfort of their lives. Yet if, in their attempt to fly, they are exposed to some extraordinary peril, He is prepared to swoop beneath them and carry them skyward on His mighty wings. When God brings any of His children into a position of unparalleled difficulty, they may always count on Him to deliver them.
~from The Song of Victory
When God places a burden upon you, He places His arms underneath you. There once was a little plant that was small and whose growth was stunted, for it lived under the shade of a giant oak tree. The little plant valued the shade that covered it and highly regarded the quiet rest that its noble friend provided. Yet there was a greater blessing prepared for this little plant.
One day a woodsman entered the forest with a sharp ax and felled the giant oak. The little plant began to weep, crying out, “My shelter has been taken away. Now every fierce wind will blow on me, and every storm will seek to uproot me!”
The guardian angel of the little plant responded, “No! Now the sun will shine and showers will fall on you more abundantly than ever before. Now your stunted form will spring up into loveliness, and your flowers, which could never have grown to full perfection in the shade, will laugh in the sunshine. And people in amazement will say, ‘Look how that plant has grown! How gloriously beautiful it has become by removing that which was its shade and its delight!’ ”
Dear believer, do you understand that God may take away your comforts and privileges in order to make you a stronger Christian? Do you see why the Lord always trains His soldiers not by allowing them to lie on beds of ease but by calling them to difficult marches and service? He makes them wade through streams, swim across rivers, climb steep mountains, and walk many long marches carrying heavy backpacks of sorrow. This is how He develops soldiers— not by dressing them up in fine uniforms to strut at the gates of the barracks or to appear as handsome gentlemen to those who are strolling through the park. No, God knows that soldiers can only be made in battle and are not developed in times of peace. We may be able to grow the raw materials of which soldiers are made, but turning them into true warriors requires the education brought about by the smell of gunpowder and by fighting in the midst of flying bullets and exploding bombs, not by living through pleasant and peaceful times.
So, dear Christian, could this account for your situation? Is the Lord uncovering your gifts and causing them to grow? Is He developing in you the qualities of a soldier by shoving you into the heat of the battle? Should you not then use every gift and weapon He has given you to become a conqueror?
~Charles H. Spurgeon
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 371). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.