Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. (Isaiah 40:27-31, the Message).
I had seen eagles and how they soared deep and high. Few years past while attending the Academy for Spiritual Formation in Georgia I saw three bald eagles fly in the majestic halo of the sun in a beautiful sunny day. People who attended the Academy were there to be closer to God and even encounter God, which I did. Below is my experience encountering the Divine.
The evening before going to bed I did my usually brief devotion. This time I decided to randomly put my Bible in front of me and just opened it; whichever chapter I landed that would be the chapter I read. I landed on Ezekiel 17. As I studied the chapter I found that there were three eagles representing the three kings of the respective countries (Babylon, Israel and Egypt). Then I crawled to my bed but wanted to do a little reading. I picked up the booklet about the history of the resort and read it. I learned that the resort was a farm where the workers worked and sweated all day long. On top of each barn was a spire (like a steeple). The historian wrote that the spire was there for the workers to look toward God during their break and exhaustion. Good to know and it was not important for me.
The next day after lunch I went on my walk in silence meditation, sensing God’s presence and glories around me. It was so sunny and hot. I remembered about my reading and turned to look up to the spire, then to the bright shining sun far above the heaven, to God. While looking up into heaven I turned to the east and saw an eagle flying high in the sky. My eyes locked to the eagle and followed it to the direction of the brightest of the sun. There in the glorious halo I saw two more eagles flying. The eagle from the east now joined them circling in the majestic halo of the sun. Awesome! Majestic! I had encountered God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They flew together for nearly 10 minutes. The first eagle left the halo and flew north while other two flew up into the heaven and vanished from my eyes.
I didn’t expect this encounter but I needed it. I had been feeling so emptied, down and sometimes doubtful whether God was with me. I was assured and strengthened to know that God is truly with me. I felt God closer to me than ever. I had been waiting for such a divine encounter for a really long time. I had seen God. My hope was renewed. My strength regained. My faith restored. I felt like the eagle soaring high again. Truly God’s word from Isaiah had help put me into my right relationship with God again – “those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.”
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.
Yakhauj 'e, ua caag koj has, Yixayee 'e, ua caag koj has tas, “Yawmsaub tsw pum kuv txujkev lawm,
kuv tug Vaajtswv tsw tuav kuv txujcai lawm.”? Koj tsw paub lov? Koj tsw tau nov lov? Yawmsaub yog tug Vaajtswv kws nyob moog ib txhws, yog tug kws tswm thoob plawg qaab ntuj kawg. Nwg tsw tsaug leeg, nwg tsw txug sav, nwg txujkev txawj ntse tsw muaj leejtwg paub taag. Nwg pub zug rua tug kws tsaug leeg, hab tsaav zug rua tug kws tsw muaj zug. Txawm yog cov hluas los yuav tsaug leeg hab txug sav, hab cov txwvneej hluas kuj yuav dawm qaug taag. Tassws cov kws tog rawv Yawmsaub yuav tau zug tshab tuaj, puab yuav muaj tis yaa sab yaam le tej daav, puab yuav dha tsw txawj txug sav, puab yuav moog kev tsw txawj tsaug leeg.” (Yaxaya 40:27-31).
Kuv pum dlaav hab paub tas puab yaa tub yaa sab tau le caag. Ob peb xyoo dlhau lug thaum kuv moog koom lub rooj cobqha Academy for Spiritual Formation nyob Georgia kuv pum peb tug dlaav yaa nyob rua ntawm lub nub thaum tshaav ntuj ci ntsaa ab. Cov tuabneeg kws tuaj koom puab tuaj kuas peb nyob ze rua Vaajtswv hab tau ntsib Vaajtswv, kws kuv tugkheej yeej kuj tau pum. Nuav yog kuv zaaj kws kuv pum Vaajtswv.
Muaj ib mo ua ntej kuv moog pw kuv kuj lug nyeem Vaajlugkub thov Vaajtswv. Zag nuav kuv xaav tas ca kuv nthuav tau nyob tshooj twg ce kuv nyeem tshooj ntawm. Kuv thuav tau nyob rua npe ntawm Exekhee 17. Kuv tshawb kawm tshooj nuav hab pum tas muaj peb tug dlaav piv txug peb tug vaajntxwv (Npanpiloo, Ixayee hab Iziv). Tomqaab ntawd kuv nce moog pw tabsi kuv tseem xaav nyeem mivntsiv ntawv le pw. Kuv txawm khaws npau ntawv qha txug keebkwm ntawm qhov chaw peb tuaj txoos pw nyob uake hab nyeem. Kuv pum tas qhov chaw nuav yog ib dlaim teb hab chaw yug nyuj kws thaum cov tuabneeg ua haujlwm saab saab txhua nub. Tug sau sau has tas nyob rua sau lub qaum tsev puab ua muaj ib tug kub tsuv tsev sab sab rua tuabneeg tau tsaa taubhau saib rua sau ntuj hab ncu txug Vaajtswv thaum pub ua haujlwm saab saab hab lug su.
Nub tomqaab thaum noj su taag kuv tau moog tau kev kuas nyob ze rua Vaajtswv hab pum Vaajtswv lub fwjchim. Nwg yog ib nug kub hab tshaajntuj heev. Kuv ncu txug qhov kuv nyeem naagmo hab tig moog saib rua aus tug kub tsuv tsev, hab moog rua sau ntuj lub nub ci ntsaa ab, rua sau Vaajtswv. Thaum kuv saib kuv tig moog rua saab nub tuaj hab pum ib tug dlaav yaa sab sab. Kuv txawj sabi tug dlaav ho tsi ntsais muag hab nwg txawm yaaj ncaav ntsaim moog rua ntawm lub nub. Thaum ntawm kuv pum muaj ob tug dlaav ntxiv kws yaa ncig lub nub ci. Zoo heev! Kuv tau ntsib Vaajtswv, Vaaj Leej Txiv, Leej Tub hab Vaaj Ntsujplig. Puab txawm yaam uake le 10 feeb. Thawj tug dlaav txawm yaa tawm moog rua saab qaum teb. Tabsi ob tug kws nyob ntawm txawm yaam moog rua qhov ci ci ntawm lub nub hab pluj ntawm kuv lub qhov muag.
Kuv tsi xaav tag kuv yuav ntsib Vaajtswv le nua tabsi kuv yeej tau ntsib tag. Kuv yeej raug muag hab tej thaum tseem ua xyemxyaa tas sov Vaajtswv puas nyob nrug kuv. Qhov nuav ua rua kuv paub tas Vaajtswv yeej nrug ntsaim kuv nyob. Kuv paub tas Vaajtswv nyob ze kuv. Ua rua kuv muaj zug rov tuaj zoo ib yaam le tug dlaav yaam. Kuv rov muaj kev ca sab. Kuv kev ntseeg rov ruaj khov. Kuv zoo yaam le tug dlaav kws tsi tsaug leeg hab qaug zug ntxiv lawm. Lawv le Vaajtswv txujlug kws Yaxaya tau has, “Tassws cov kws tog rawv Yawmsaub yuav tau zug tshab tuaj, puab yuav muaj tis yaa sab yaam le tej daav, puab yuav dha tsw txawj txug sav, puab yuav moog kev tsw txawj tsaug leeg.”