Clipped Wings

Posted: January 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

ducksHeartline’s compound, in Haiti, is on three acres of land.  We, in addition to our programs, have a number of animals on the property.  We have tilapia, chickens, goats, rabbits, turkeys, sheep, a couple of the neighbor’s dogs, and two newly arrived ducks.

A couple of days after getting the ducks we clipped their wings so that they wouldn’t be able to fly.  I must admit that I have had ongoing second thoughts about clipping their wings and feel bad that they now can’t fly.  It doesn’t seem that duck are made to just waddle along, especially when they are being chased by the turkey, who wants them to know that he is the boss of the yard. Yet, clipping their wings does mean that they will stay in a safe environment where there is food, water, security and where they won’t be eaten by predators. It largely is for their own protection.

Often, it is difficult for us to see that the restrictions God has for our lives, are for our benefit, for our safeguard.  They serve as a protection from that which can be harmful and a deterrent against doing something or pursuing something that God knows will bring us trouble.

This can be seen in God’s instructions to Adam in Genesis 2:15-17

15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”

We know that Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and a world of trouble has ensued.

Some years ago I heard a youth pastor say that one of the best reasons to memorize scripture is that it gives you God’s thoughts. With that in mind, perhaps we can better understand and appreciate David’s words in Psalm 119:9-16 

How can a young person stay pure?
    By obeying your word.
10 I have tried hard to find you—
    don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O Lord;
    teach me your decrees.
13 I have recited aloud
    all the regulations you have given us.
14 I have rejoiced in your laws
    as much as in riches.
15 I will study your commandments
    and reflect on your ways.
16 I will delight in your decrees
    and not forget your word.

Notice that David writes of hiding God’s word in his heart. It isn’t enough to have it on paper or on a plaque and having to go search for it. If in the heart, then God’s word is there when you need it, when confronted with opportunities to compromise, when sin seems too easy to choose, when strength and wisdom is needed, and to keep us out of trouble.

As we clipped the wings of the ducks for their own protection and security, God’s word is there to guide, protect and serve as a deterrent as we live out our lives.

Psalm 19:7-14

7 The instructions of the Lord are perfect,
    reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right,
    bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear,
    giving insight for living.
Reverence for the Lord is pure,
    lasting forever.
The laws of the Lord are true;
    each one is fair.
10 They are more desirable than gold,
    even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
    even honey dripping from the comb.
11 They are a warning to your servant,
    a great reward for those who obey them.

12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
    Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
    Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
    and innocent of great sin.

14 May the words of my mouth
    and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

John McHoul





  1. Stephanie says:

    So very true & I’m guilty of frequently bristling when my wings are clipped & asking why. Thank you for this word this morning!

    • johnmchoul says:

      Pretty sure we all struggle with having our wings clipped. It usually isn’t in areas of sin but rather just wanting to pursue a different direction than that which God has for us.

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