If you’ve ever experienced a spiritual high after a retreat or vacation, you also know that spirits slag between those retreats and vacations. In 2004, I was in serious need of renewal. Our women’s ministry director had chosen the theme “signs and wonders” for Bible study year and I had never thought much about those. But oh well, I thought. As she’s encouraging women to pay attention to the signs and wonders God will send our way, I thought other women could do that; she’ll never know if I don’t.
That was the year I was working on my most transparent speech ever. I could only write it because other areas of my life had been really difficult and I was asked to speak about it. It was quite personal and as is always the case, when you’re moving closer to the Lord, Satan wheedles his way in there and starts causing trouble.
It was the beginning of February and I woke up early in the morning & immediately felt a strong sense of anxiety. I don’t remember dreaming and I had not been awake long enough to think of something that made me anxious…but I felt the pull to go out to the living room. I grabbed my Streams from the Desert book and turned to that day’s selection. From the first words, I had the chills. “My child, I have a message for you today. Let me whisper it in your ear that it may gild with glory any storm clouds which may arise and smooth the rough places upon which you tread. Use them as a pillow on which to rest your head: This thing is from me.”
It then mentioned school, money, sorrow, temptation, pain and weakness, being hurt by people…every topic that had been weighing on my heart. I’m here to tell you the air in the room was electric. After wrestling with anxiety, I was given such a peace and all those months of fear and worry dissipated. My heart felt so much lighter! Later that day, I was driving home and saw four bald eagles within 1/4 mile of my home. It was the first time I’d seen an eagle since living here and I could feel God telling me that He was showing me His nearness. It was so comforting!
In April, I again awoke with anxiety and then I grabbed my Bible and turned to Psalm 91 and read, “He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings will you find refuge.” I once again was comforted by those wings and soon I was standing on the driveway watching my daughter get on the bus when I noticed, in the tree in our backyard, a beautiful eagle. He sat there for over an hour thoroughly unruffled by the neighbor’s barking dog underneath him. I went back to my bed and spied him from my window and he looked directly at me. I knew this was no coincidence. God hears prayers. He covers us with His wings and He knows some of us need visual reminders of that. Again, I felt His nearness.