By Gerard Su
‘Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the
Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his
understanding no one can fathom. 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.
Consider the eagle. It is a magnificent bird of prey, having sharp hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong muscular legs, powerful talons and an impressive wingspan. A creature with such a description is a force to be reckoned with within the avian animal kingdom. The eagle is a symbol of strength.
On the other hand, the eagle also demonstrates parental instincts. Baby eagles (or eaglets) do not know how to fly at birth. It is the mother eagle’s responsibility to teach her young how to fly. If an eaglet is separated from its mother at birth, it will never learn how to fly. And so the mother eagle demonstrates to her flock what those two appendages on their backs are for.
The mother eagle first hovers over the nest, gently flapping her wings, showing the eaglets how it’s done. She then swoops down to her nest, surprising the eaglets, and the next thing that happens is alarming. The mother eagle uses her head, and starts nudging the eaglets one by one to the edge of the nest, and in a blink of an eye, she pushes her baby out of the nest, and the eaglet falls down the side of the cliff facing impending death. What kind of mother would do that to their child?
But the mother eagle doesn’t stay perched at her nest. In a flash, Mummy eagle takes a quick dive at lightning speed, catches the tumbling eaglet on her back and deposits the flustered youngling back in the nest. Then the whole process gets repeated again and again until the baby eagle is able to glide and eventually fly on its own.
We, like the eaglet, also have a ‘parent’ who is not a symbol of strength, but strength itself. We have a God who is almighty (omnipotent) and always by our side (omnipresent). Yes, there will be times where it seems God throws us off the cliff, leaving us tumbling towards failure and doom, but God is always there to catch us just before we hit rock bottom. The mother eagle puts her eaglets through this process so that they will eventually learn to fly like her, to fly like an eagle. God puts us through such situations of downward spiraling so that we can learn to trust Him, and grow to be more like Christ.