Tuesday 30 March 2021

Jubilee Birthday Reflections

I'm 50 years old today! I received many unexpected birthday greetings and surprise gifts but if anyone were to ask me how I really feel, I'm afraid I'd have to say that I'm not well at all...

In fact, I'm supposed to have undergone surgery last week and would have been recuperating right now but it got postponed due to my having developed a bad sore throat the day before the scheduled date.

My eyesight is getting from bad to worse and I will probably need to get some progressive lenses in order to be able to see both near and far.

Emotionally and mentally, I'm so exhausted and drained that I often don't feel like doing anything, nor going anywhere, nor meeting or speaking with anyone.

But thank God that He has already made provision for me to rest, heal and be restored by instructing us to take a sabbatical during the Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-13)!

Actually, since the end of last year, He had been telling me through several different ways to hide in Him this year. Then earlier this month (ie during my birthday month) he pointed me to the concept of the Jubilee sabbatical and how I need to 'let the land lie fallow'. While researching this, I found that the land still has to be ploughed in order to uproot the weeds. So I suppose I would need to spend time working through the 'weeds' that had gathered in my heart through the years.

Then last week, He showed me a picture of Psalm 23 where He's going to make me lie down in green pastures and lead me beside quiet waters so I can rest and drink, and rest and drink, and rest and drink...

Yesterday, He led me to think about how eagles moult when they become old and their feathers, beak and claws are worn out. They have to hide away from predators and go through a painful exercise of plucking off their old feathers and breaking their own beak and claws in order for the renewal process to take place. Then comes a long period of waiting...

Other eagles will help to bring food to those who are moulting since they're unable to hunt. Interestingly, yesterday and today quite a number of people either gave me food or offered to buy me food!

Unfortunately, some eagles don't survive the moulting process. But those who do become stronger than before and live longer! Last night, he showed me this amazing painting by Irene Wong entitled 'Renewed Strength' and this morning He confirmed that it was His promise to me through my new running shoes!!
[Image source: @tiroshjourney]

Break off
Food and provision 
These words define what I will experience for my Jubilee...

He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
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 40:29-31)

[P.S. A friend very kindly informed me on none other than April Fool's Day that I had been fooled by the urban myth of eagles moulting! Eagles do moult but the process isn't as torturous as described on many webpages whose authors had obviously been similarly fooled like me. The feathers fall off in patches (not plucked off all at once) and are replaced by new feathers over a period of about six months. The beak and claws are not affected/changed at all. Nevertheless, there is still a certain amount of waiting before the entire plumage is renewed so I guess what God was trying to tell me still holds. But thankfully, I'm relieved to know that eagles don't have to mutilate themselves in order to be renewed! - 4 Apr 2021]