Saturday, June 14, 2008

Eagles



But they that wait upon the Lord
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
and they shall walk and not faint

Isaiah 40:31

I had coffee with a friend the other day. We are still getting to know each other and I love spending time with her ... she is a lady of grace and wisdom with a lot of depth. I come away from our conversations sparked and encouraged! This past week, we were sharing some life stories, and I shared about my experiences of this past year. She talked about travelling lightly and i was reminded of one of the threads that God spoke to me about in Cambodia. Eagles.

I think I referred to the Isaiah scripture in a previous blog but I can't find it so let me rehash it here.

When we first read this scripture, we have an image of strength. Perhaps you can picture an eagle flapping it's wings, soaring higher and higher. When we break down this scripture, we get a completely different image. Let's look at some of the key words.

Wait
this comes from the hebrew word "Qavah" which means, "to look for, lie in wait for, linger for, look eagerly for."

Renew
Comes from "Chalaph" - meaning "to pass through, change, sprout again."

Mount Up
Comes from "alah" - meaning "ascend, go up, meet, visit, spring up, grow, shoot forth"

The eagle is a bird that understands renewal. My friend talked about travelling lightly. She talked about how sometimes she stops and just clears herself of all the clutter. As she shared this, I thought about the incredible renewal process eagles go through. I researched this and found some very inspiring stories ... most on Christian threads! But, as I researched deeper, I found out that these are encouraging stories but urban myths. Eagles do not completely withdraw and pull all their feathers out, beat off their beaks and talons. However, this does not deny the power of the moult. Juvenile eagles are actually larger than adults. However, they go through a continual moulting process where they lose feathers and become more streamlined. This makes them more efficient in flight. Here is a thought ... in order to fly high, we need to be unencumbered. We need to be continually transformed. Romans 12:2 talks about being transformed by the renewing of our minds. When you look at the scripture, it is an ongoing thing. Like the eagle moult, our renewing is an ongoing process. It is part of growth.

Another amazing thing about eagles are their eyes. They are birds of vision. They see with great clarity and in full colour. Do we? Or are we black and white?! Eagles have two centres of focus. They can see forwards and sideways at the same time. There is a lesson for us there. When travelling through life, observing all that goes on around us, we need to keep our eyes forward and fixed on Christ as well. For blinking, they also have an inner eyelid called a nictitating membrane. Every three or four seconds, the nictitating membrane slides across the eye from front to back, wiping dirt and dust from the cornea. Because the membrane is translucent, the eagle can see even while it is over the eye. These birds constantly clear their vision. Are we allowing things to cloud ours?

The eagle searches for storms, it rides the updrafts and rises above them. Could it do this by beating its wings? No ... it just holds them open, catches the updrafts that accompany storms and rises, higher and higher, soaring above. It knows how to wait for the updrafts ... it lingers for them. It looks for them.

We see eagles as powerful, strong birds. They soar on great heights. Think about this: the strength of the eagle is not in it's ability to flap its wings and fly high. It's strength is that it knows how to hold it's wings out and soar. It's strength is that it is a bird of vision. And ... it travels lightly.

4 comments:

Demara said...

I LOVE eagles! And I never knew that about their vision. Wow! So cool.

I like change! And I think that has something to do with the "transforming by the renewing of our minds" bit of scripture. I want to moult if it means getting closer to God and seeing Him and His desires more clearly.

Thanks for the lesson!
D

The Olson's: said...

Thanks for doing the research! Eagles are an amazing part of God's creation and so fitting to compare our Christian walk to.

This was very encouraging. Always have a clear vision, wait for the updraft, and pack light!

Thanks,
~ Leanne

Teacher_Jen said...

Wow, Sarah--that was so amazing. It came at just the right time, too.

Thank you for sharing. J

Danifesto said...

Loved the fun facts and the practical applications they had to our life walks! Very cool Sarah!