May 9, 2006
"...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 40:31)
When the storms of life bear down on you, are your reactions like an eagle's or like a turkey's? "A turkey and an eagle react differently to the threat of a storm. A turkey reacts by running under the barn, hoping the storm won't come near. On the other hand, an eagle leaves the security of its nest and spreads its wings to ride the air currents of the approaching storm, knowing they will carry it higher in the sky than it could soar on its own. Based on your reactions to the storms of life, which are you? A turkey or an eagle?" (unknown source)
Turkeys really can't fly. Their wings cannot support their considerably great body weight. They are too burdened down to fly. The troubles of this world weigh us down too, don't they? Sometimes they just seem too heavy to bear. We find it so hard to get up and keep going, let alone to fly! I don't want to spend a lot of time on the turkeys because that's not where I want you to be. Let's just say that they spend a lot of time flapping their wings, hiding and hoping for the best. Sometimes we are just flapping our wings when we should be soaring in high places.
The eagle is among the largest and most powerful birds. Their wingspans range from 3 to 8 feet across. They dwell in high places, rocks and cliffs. Eagles can glide at altitudes of over 2500 feet. Without flapping their wings they soar gracefully high in the air and glide great distances. As they ride the winds they appear to be soaring almost effortlessly. They are strong, swift, courageous and have been seen to be soaring almost motionless in hurricane force winds. I have heard it said that when there is a storm, the eagle flies above it. The more turbulent the winds, the greater is the lifting power for the eagle to fly higher. The higher he flies, the bigger is his view. He is at a level that no one else is at. The winds allow him to fly faster and stay in flight longer.
Our verse tells us that if we hope in the Lord we can soar on wings like those eagles. I'd like to call one wing "surrender" and the other one "trust". When we surrender, we yield to the power, control or possession of another, in this case, God. It means to give up completely, to give oneself up. When we trust we place confidence in God. We depend on Him and are confident in Him. We rely on Him, expect from Him and believe Him. If we believe that He is sovereign over all and that He is all-powerful and that His Word is truth, then we need never fear that our problems and difficulties are too much for Him to handle. If we pray and wait with trust upon Him we will receive all that we need.
We need to allow the storms of our lives to lift us up, not drag us down. Just like the eagle, if we "go with the flow", so to speak, the winds of adversity will bring us higher. No trial should ever be wasted in worry, anxiety, doubt or fear. Hard times should always be seen as an opportunity to soar. To be uplifted emotionally and spiritually. To drive us closer to our God. I've had many pity parties in my life and you know what? No one ever came. I have vowed to not waste the time that I'm spending in the trials of life another day. I ask.."What can I learn? What is God trying to teach me? How can I grow in the middle of this?" I want to come out of the storm more mature, more complete, and with more wholeness in my life than when I entered it. And the more turbulent my storm, the higher I want to fly.
We cannot even try to fathom God's wisdom in directing the courses of our lives. But if we ride those winds with prayer, surrender, and trust we will soar. The rest of the verse tells us that we won't even grow weary or tired and we'll never give up and faint. God will give us the stamina and strength that we need to endure the storm. And He gives in great measure. We will progress, grow and come out better for having experienced the storm. I believe that this is what it's like when the eagle flies above the storm. He is higher than anyone else and he sees things from a bigger view. When we stay inside ourselves and our own misery and never look to God, we will never desire to grow in the storm and He will never let us see things from His perspective. God isn't interested so much in our comfort as He is in our growth. And He will use any means possible to make us more like Him. I want God's eye-view.
Are you hiding today? Running under the barn and hoping that the storm will go away? How fast are your wings called "fear" and "worry" flapping? Are you a turkey? Or are you soaring like the eagle? Graceful, dwelling in high places above the storm, effortlessly riding the winds of adversity? Remember, the more turbulent the winds, the higher we will fly. Spread your wings of surrender and trust and ride the wind and the storm. And all the while, know that underneath you are the everlasting arms of God.
Your fellow eagle,
I would like to share some good news with you. I was picked up as a staff writer for a web-zine beginning this month. You can see my work as well as a lot of other great inspirational material by visiting http://handmaidens.org/506. My contribution is on the Christian page. I am giving God the glory for allowing me to reach even more folks with my writing.