Beautiful Like An Eagle

I was cutting our grass yesterday riding the tractor lawn mower.  I love being outside, riding and thinking, enjoying being immersed in the nature around me.  At one point a shadow quickly passed over me.  I looked up.  Oh!  An eagle or a hawk!  Probably a hawk, I mused as I watched the magnificent creature glide on the thermals, wings outstretched in splendor.  My heart was filled with an excited joy just in observing this impressive bird.  But, wait!  What in the world!  That’s not a hawk!  That’s a vulture, doing what vultures do, seeking death to satisfy their appetites.  I stared long and hard as the bird dipped and soared higher and dipped again.  How easily I had been fooled.

Then I thought how easily God’s children can be fooled, too, in our spiritual worlds.  Someone comes along, for example, and proclaims himself or herself to be a Bible teacher.  They use their words with authority.  Something doesn’t seem quite right as we listen, but we don’t want to be judgmental, so we quash our thoughts, chiding ourselves for our distrust in this  “brother or sister.”

I’m not talking about making a mistake in Scripture interpretation.  We’re all learning throughout our walk on this earth.  I’m talking about consistent inner feelings of unease that come whenever we hear the words of a particular someone who is proclaiming God’s words.  May I encourage you; don’t forget that the Holy Spirit is residing in you.  He is your best teacher as you listen to others teach and as you study the Scriptures for yourselves. When something isn’t quite right, the Holy Spirit will prick your conscience with unease.  I urge you, brothers and sisters — investigate!  Ask Father to lead you into His peace as you seek truth.  Remember, He has promised that if you seek you will find.

You see, Satan is out to conquer and divide.  He is the greatest illusionist of all time.  The Scripture warns us of him in II Corinthians 11: 13-15, “There are people who are false apostles.  They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ.  I am not surprised!  Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So, it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.”

These are perilous days.  One has only to listen to the national and world news for a few minutes to know that countries everywhere are in political, moral, and spiritual disarray.  Therefore, Satan and those who follow him in this world are having a heyday, inserting doubt where truth abides, painting themselves as colors of light on canvases of darkness, fooling the fainthearted, seeking to destroy the faith of all God’s followers.

Do not be one of the fooled ones!  Do not accept everything you hear as truth!  Importantly, do not quench the nudging of the Holy Spirit when He warns you of danger lurking!  Pause, pray, seek truth.  You will find it, for that is the promise of the Holy Spirit  to all who come searching for Him.

Remember: not every large winged bird is an eagle, and not every man or woman speaking in the name of Christ is a follower of Him.  You need not be troubled by this fact; you need only be looking diligently, entreating God with an earnest heart, and He, by His sweet Holy Spirit will lead you into His truth.  You may stand alone in your discoveries but do not shrink back in fear of what others think.  It only matters what your Father thinks.  Stand firm in His truth, and His peace will wrap itself around you all your days.


When Eagles Fear 

I am having an amazing time this week as I’m somewhere in Africa enjoying volunteering at a wildlife hospital.  For the last two days I’ve been given the responsibility of giving antibiotic injections to a beautiful Bachelor Eagle who has wounded his leg.  It’s swollen and infected; hence the antibiotics.  

Twice a day I meet with its keeper and together we get the job done.  He has to remove the eagle from its cage to restrain it for me to give the injection.  As you can imagine, the eagle is not pleased with this arrangement.  The keeper wears thick gloves and drapes a towel over the bird to remove him.  Then the majestic eagle is restrained to the table.  It only lasts a moment, but for this bird, it is not a happy ordeal.  

“We’re helping you, you lovely bird,” I spoke gently to him as if I thought he could understand me.  His piercing eyes met mine with no small amount of hostility in them.  He just wanted the entire episode to be over.  I couldn’t blame him because this bird had no understanding that what we were doing would bring health and happiness back into his world.

I thought to myself as the day wore on — don’t we do that, too?  We get wounded in our worlds.  We’re hurt and upset.  We feel alone and perhaps trapped in a situation.  We feel there’s no way out.  Like the wounded eagle, we remain in a cage of distress; but then, what happenes? Our Heavenly Father opens the cage of our worry and hurt and begins to administer His balm.  His dealings with us are always for our good, although sometimes the way forward seems not so pleasant.  Perhaps, like the eagle, we protest to our Father and beg for another way.  Another way?  Can there be anything better than what our Father plans for us?  

Upon whatever path we travel, rocky or clear, we will get wounded, but our Father is always there to administer the healing medicine needed for our weary souls.  As Jesus told us in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me everyone who is weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.”  The eagle did not understand what we were doing.  We don’t always understand the ways of God.  How can we?  We’re merely human.  Even so, as the eagle is made stronger with our help, so are we when we bring our wounded selves to our Father.