Michael Joncas, priest and church musician, was only 27 when he wrote the words to “On Eagle’s Wings,” without a doubt one of the most popular Christian hymns today. Had he already known major suffering, despair, and a feeling of hopelessness in his short life? Had he personally experienced the tremendous lift that comes from God’s chosen time of rescue? Millions of struggling believers have rejoiced to sing with him:
He will raise you up on eagles’ wings, Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun, And hold you in the palm of his hand.
His inspiration, of course, came from the experiences of the nation of Israel, just set free from Egyptian slavery and now gathered at Mt. Sinai. They were about to feel terrible earthquakes, see God’s lightning from the summit, and hear the thunder and trumpet blasts and roar of God’s own solemn voice as he spoke his holy law. But Moses brought a tender and thrilling message as well from God: “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4).
Whether you are 27 or 87, you will experience God’s mighty hand lifting you up when you need it most. Let him pick the moment. Let him hear your praise when he does.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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