I’ve always loved flying. While navigating strange airports and sitting in a narrow uncomfortable airplane seat for hours on end can stretch the limits of my endurance, it has never quenched my love for flying and adventure. I’m always reminded when I fly that the things that seem so big to us on the ground at 35,000 feet in the air are really very small. It’s all about perspective. We often get overwhelmed with problems and circumstances in life because we lose perspective. In order to see things as they really are, we have to go higher.
There is an interesting fact about eagles. I’ve always found eagles to be fascinating creatures. Where I live in Virginia, we see bald eagles pretty regularly. Eagles have no natural predators. With their keen eyesight, blinding speed, and powerful talons, they are the predators of the skies. However, there is one bird that can contest the supremacy of an eagle: the crow. Crows are able to position themselves in order to peck incessantly at an eagle until the eagle is killed. The only way for an eagle to survive a crow attack is to fly higher in the atmosphere. When an eagle flies higher, the crow is unable to take in the air at that altitude and is forced to abandon the attack and descend to a lower altitude. There is a great lesson we can learn from the eagle as believers. If we want to repel the attacks of the enemy, we have to go higher. The psalmist declares that He who dwells in the secret place of the Most-High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. In that place no evil shall befall you nor any plague come near your dwelling (Ps. 91:1–5). Of course, we recognize that the psalmist is not trying to tell us we will never experience pain or loss. His point is to remind us that the safest place to be in this world is sheltered in the presence of God. When we go higher, we come to discover that God is our everlasting refuge.
Back to our trip, after almost two days of exhausting travel, we finally arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi. It felt so good to get off the plane, out of the airport, and to breathe some fresh air. Nathan Chiroma, our ITEM associate in Nairobi, picked us up from the airport and we headed for our conference destination about 4 hours away in Chiringa.
But one thing is certain about Africa, that nothing is certain. What was supposed to be only a four-hour drive, ultimately became a seven-hour drive. Much of the driving, therefore, was at night, which made the journey more treacherous, especially since we were driving in a very rural area. Nevertheless, we finally arrived safely at our hotel in Mulanje tired and hungry and ready to hit the sack. Upon our arrival, our host pastors Innocent and Duncan greeted us and made sure the accommodations were adequate. After a bite to eat at the hotel restaurant, it was off to bed. Our conference starts tomorrow morning.
I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in Malawi!
~Chris McMillan (ITEM COO)