James H. Cagle
704 Jones St. Ray City, Ga. 31645
The Bible says, “And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest” (Ps. 55: 6-8).
So many times we find ourselves longing like king David for wings to escape when we seem to be overwhelmed with trying circumstances. There appears to be no solution to our problems; any peace or rest, and the only solution it seems is to take flight; remove ourselves from one geographical location to another. David states very clearly that he would if he could fly from his troubles to the wilderness; a place of solitude, he would as quick as possible escape the storms and trials in order to have peace and rest.
But like us, David was not equipped with wings because God has something better in store for His children; and in order for us to possess it we must endure the storms of life. God does not want us to flee the storm but face it and experience His grace and deliverance through it.
We read the writings of David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, and are blessed and encouraged as he speaks of a relationship with God that was deep and meaningful; revealing God’s faithfulness, love, power and deliverance in the most adverse situation. David writes of life’s troubles in a way that we today can identify with. He struggled as we struggle. He failed and was restored as we do and are. But all we see about David and the help and encouragement we receive from his psalms would not be available if David had been able, as he longed, to escape from the war. It was the struggles of life that enriched David’s life. Great saints then and now are made by sticking to the fight and trusting God to help and bless and deliver through the storm and the fire.
Trials are designed to mature the Christian. Those who are constantly running from difficult situations never mature into godly individuals who manifest Christ likeness. Those who face the storm and accept the fight and the struggle become experienced in the fight against the enemy, and as well see firsthand God at work in their life and on their behalf.
I’ll be the first to admit that when trials come I wish I had wings to fly away; because my first response is to flee to a place of peace and rest. But after the trial is over, and the storm clouds are past, and the sun shines again, I am glad I trusted God and endured the test. Because as a result of the test I came to know my Savior better by experiencing His grace, love, and power, as it was demonstrated to me in my darkest hour. So really I’m glad I don’t have wings, because I have Jesus, and in the shadow of His wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast (Ps. 57:1).
If I Had Wings
If I had the wings of a dove;
The wherewithal to take my flight,
I=d leave behind all burdensome care;
The cold dark night for the warm sunlight.
I would flee each painful situation,
I=d fly away when the enemy opposed.
I would never experience a trial by fire
As out of each struggle on wings I arose.
If I had wings to spread like the morning
I would fly above the menacing clouds.
With wings gilded in golden light
I=d escape from the threatening shroud.
With wings I=d flee life=s unpleasantness,
Those moments I could have known God=s grace
By which He=d sustain me in the trial He sent
To cause me to seek His loving embrace.
If I had the wings of a holy cherubim
I would mount up high on ethereal winds,
I=d fly with angels on pathways to heaven,
Sail far and wide on celestial winds.
If I had the wings of a glorious seraphim,
I would never have the character of Christ.
For I=d run from things sent to mold me,
Into the likeness of my Sin-sacrifice.
Could I with great wings fly away;
To escape the darkness they unfold,
I would never know how rich I could be,
From the treasures the dark valley holds.
Character is far more important
Than jeweled wings, glistening bright.
And learning to walk with God by faith
Is far better than escaping the night.
As the wings of a bird are clipped,
So would God somehow take my flight,
And force me to weather the storms of life
By which He reveals His beauty, and might.