What’s your typical reaction when you see a storm coming? Do you dance around in the midst of the hailstones or do you run for cover? Do you relish in getting soaked from the rain or do you find the nearest dry shelter?
Most of us want to seek some kind of protection from stormy outbreaks. We desire a reprieve from any adverse conditions rather than search them out. Avoiding the stresses of turbulent events is typically high on our list.
The bird kingdom is no different. When a storm approaches, all but one breed of bird goes to find shelter. Who is the anomaly? It is the eagle. While other birds race to find a place of protection, the eagle dives into the wind, knowing that its strong currents will help it soar higher and higher. The eagle harnesses the wind’s power and uses it to supplement its gliding ability.
My usual reaction is not to head straight into the storm the way an eagle does. If I can actually see a storm approaching – whether it be an environmental or emotional event – I quickly consider avoidance tactics. Why walk into perceived trouble?
Yet, maybe the eagle is on to something. As it goes into the storm knowing that the wind currents will offer it additional support, we also can go forward in the face of the storm knowing our Heavenly Father will uphold us with His loving arms.
In Isaiah 40:11 Scripture tells us: “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.” (NIV)
What a promise that verse is! No matter what we face, we have incredible renewing power given to us if we trust in the Lord and put our hope in Him. We can plow into the face of the storms of life having confidence that we can do so with the strength God provides.
Eagles have another interesting trait. When they teach their young to fly they let the eaglets ride on their backs to offer support. Then there is a process of letting the young ones go and catching them and letting them go again. If the eaglet still has challenges, it is returned to the nest but the parent chips away at the nest until the sides are removed. The little one is then gradually and gently pushed out of the nest. At no time is the eaglet alone in this journey.
Scripture refers to this behaviour in Deuteronomy 31:
“He shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.” (verse 10b-11 NIV)
God treats us in a similar fashion. He doesn’t expect us to initially fly on our own. He is there, offering us His support and care as well as teaching us what we need to know to be successful. Some days He does have to push us reluctant believers slowly out of the nest to get us moving in the right direction. No matter what is going on, our loving Heavenly Father shields us from danger and helps us conquer the storms of life. We are never left alone.
Generally, facing the storms of life head on is probably a better tactic than avoidance. Sure, we don’t want to tromp into danger but there is also no gain without some risk. We don’t take that risk alone. We draw our true strength from God who already has our future in His hands.
Perhaps it is time for you to take flight. Are you ready to soar with our Heavenly Father upholding you? Think of the heights you will reach and the views you will see when you put your hope and trust in Him. Sure, there might be some turbulence at times, but we are never out of reach of the loving support that God provides.
Where is God calling you to take flight today?