A fellow minister of mine wrote this article. I hope it encourages the reader as much it has me.
Psalms 55:6-8 says: "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."
This psalm is generally believed to have been written when Absalom was forming his rebellion to take the kingdom from his father, David.
It is a maschil psalm. It is written for instruction, much like a sermon put to music. The title tells us Jonah-elem-rechokim, it means “concerning the doves congregating from afar.”
While the hawks circled and swooped, David looked away to the messengers of peace, and the God who had always protected him.
If you have ever been tempted to give up or run away from a circumstance, this Psalm is for you!
Most of us have been where David was … hard pressed with circumstances out of our control.
We wish we could just fly away from our present distress and pain.
Birds are an interesting study. David illustrates his desire to escape using the dove.
The dove of course is small (David voicing humility), vulnerable (Absalom’s reach for power), quick ( he wants a fast escape).
Doves can fly with one wing to rest the other wing while in flight to lengthen their distance and time of escape from predators. David wants to be anywhere else but here, but there is no escape from this day.
Some days are harder than others. We would rather be celebrating or laughing or on a vacation. But we cannot escape. The roll call of time has placed this day on our agenda, and so we chafe, all the time wishing we could fly away and escape the sorrow, sadness and pain.
There are some 10,000 species of birds. They vary in color and wingspan. Some are minuscule, others enormous. From a tiny wingspan to more than 11 feet.
From the jungle to the suburbs, they all fly.
The gooney bird is enormous. It has a wingspan of more than 11 feet. It can fly 7,000 miles without coming to earth. It eats in flight. It can fly 600 miles without even moving a wing in a flap.
But all birds have one thing in common! Whether large or small, whether darting for a few feet or soaring 7,000 miles, eventually they all have to come to earth. They all have feet and legs.
Sometimes they must walk!
As much as we wish some days had never come, as much as we would like to fly away, some days we all come to earth.
It is a day we walk. We cannot fly.
We walk though the valley, the same one David spoke of: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…."
We feel like David. "Oh, that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away." But today, it is not to be. The word that David uses – remain – has a connotation of an overnight stay, or a brief respite. David just wanted some let up or relief. Then he would return to the turbulence of the threatening storm around him.
David was at a time when he had to walk, it was a “no flight day” in his life!
We all have days where we wish we could fly away, but it is a “no flight” day.
Today we walk.
Today we grieve, or we mourn, or we endure frustration. We walk through the valley of the shadow of death!
But let me promise you something….You will fly again.
You will mount up on wings of eagles soon. Be encouraged, your valley will end. The shadows will shorten, the air will call you, the heavens will beckon and you will fly again!