One afternoon while running an errand near the oceanfront in Virginia Beach, I decided to go an extra block and take a peek at the ocean. The air was cold, in the 40s, and cloudy, with a slight drizzle. It was a typical off-season day. The boardwalk was deserted/ So with my pick of the benches, I sat on a choice one, stretched out my legs, stuck my hands in my jacket pockets, and looked out over the water.
It was a little windy, as the rough waves crashed ashore making that unmistakable sound of the sea. Looking up at the seagulls flying, I noticed the drizzle had stopped. So I decided to enjoy the fresh sea air for a while, and maybe even get a little inspiration from the nature that God created.
Sitting there in the cold, my attention was drawn to a seagull flying above the boardwalk, about 10 feet in front and above me. Hovering perfectly still, his wings gave a slight flutter as he faced into the wind, which was blowing strongly. At first, I felt sorry for him as he was getting nowhere in this wind.
But by facing that wind, he was kept aloft by its force. For a few moments he opened his wings, without flapping them, and remained stationary, directly in front of me, suspended in mid-air.
As I observed this remarkable sight, the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “I’m not keeping you back, I’m keeping you up.”
Maybe like me, you can relate to that seagull. Have you ever felt stuck in you life? Seemingly held back and not going forward? The Lord let me know that He’s not holding us back; He’s holding us up.
As I pondered that thought and watched the seagull closely, I realized that if the seagull had flown away from the wind, he would have been blown down to earth. But by facing the resistance of the wind, with a slight flutter of his wings, he was lifted up. So when resistance comes against you, if you face it, put your nose into the wind and flap your wings. You’ll be lifted up and not cast down. Resistance will lift you higher!
“You make the clouds your chariot; you ride upon the wings of the wind.” (Psalms 104:3, NLT)
When you pursue your goals and dreams in life, at some point you will inevitably encounter resistance. Think of King David in the Bible. He was chosen to be King as a young man, but the current King Saul put unrelenting pressure on him by trying to destroy him. Through the years of persecution from King Saul, David honed his skill as a guerrilla fighter, a strong leader of men, and a man of character and honor. Resistance lifted him to become the King he had been chosen to be.
Think of the early church. Great persecution came against the early church. Many were martyred for refusing to deny Christ and many had to flee for their lives. But this unrelenting pressure of persecution caused the church to become firm in the faith and spread far and wide in order to survive. Resistance lifted the church throughout the known world in 300 years, becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire.
If you turn from resistance and run, it will smash you to the ground. You’ll be crushed and your flight, as well as your dreams, will be over. So instead of looking at the winds of resistance as something formidably holding you back, look on it as something that God is using to hold you up and make you strong. Embrace resistance, and it will raise you to the heights you dream of reaching!
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, NLT)