Sunday, April 25, 2010

Learning From The Nature of Eagles

Experiencing the amazing wonders of God's creation is indeed a special privilege given to us by our Creator. I happend to see a bald eagle recently soaring up falling into space and then rising again and again. Eagles are fascinating birds of prey, strong, majestic and soaring up in the sky spreading their wings in all glory. Truly the king of birds display interesting character traits in nature and occupies parallels in the scriptures to teach us how we are to emulate these characters in our personal walk with God. The famous passage from Isaiah 40:31 says:

"But those who hope on 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"

Recently a friend of mine at work was relating about the nature of eagles molting their feathers from time to time. When eagles get old their feathers molt and shed so much that they perch themselves on rocks and crags awaiting to die. During these times the predator of the skies  becomes a vulnerable prey for animals or starve itself to death as they cannot fly or hunt. Interestingly the older eagles who have gone through this process themselves fly above these wretched looking birds and drop meat for them to eat, and help them out to survive. Slowly after about 150 days of waiting, new feathers start growing, the eagles that have survived with the help of the older eagles renew their strength and as the sun shines they stretch out their wings for the heavens with new life and vigor.This reminds me of the process sometimes God takes us through, wilting, waiting and loosing our strength and in some cases even our hope.  We come to the place of surrender, telling God, that we cannot do it by our own, without His strength we will wither away and die, it is at this time God in His love, mercy and for His glory looks upon those who wait upon Him and renews their strength enabling them to mount up with new wings as the eagles do.

Eagles are interesting birds they mate for life and are fiercely protective of their young ones. It is interesting to note when their young one's are ready for flight, the parents literally push them out of the nest and throw them off the mountain tops. When the young eaglets are unable to fly and fall rapidly the father eagle swoops under at incredible speeds and carries them on his back up to the mountain top only to throw them down again. They repeat this process till the young eaglets flap desperately and learn to fly. Again what a reminder of freedom and love, sometimes learning to fly can be a dangerous proposition, venturing out to a new place, uprooting and moving when He tells you to go may seem risky and the future seems to be unknown. It is at those times we should be willing to take those bold steps and walk in faith because our Lord swoops down under and puts us back to the task or the battle at hand. Deuteronomy 32:11-12 says:

11 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.

12 The LORD alone led him;
no foreign god was with him

Ultimately we reflect the nature of our heavenly father, the same nature will come out.  I am reminded of the eagle and the chicken story one last one as I wrap up this article:

An ornithologist was visiting a farmer friend in the country side. At the farmer's place he was surprised to see a eagle pecking the ground with the farmer's chickens. The farmer explained that he had found the majestic bird as a baby in the mountains fallen from its nest and brought it home and put it along with the chickens in the coop and that it had grown up over the years among the chickens and thinks himself to be one. The visiting ornithologist puzzled at the nature of the eagle knew there was more to this noble bird and his rightful place belonged in the skies not with the chickens. He took permission from the farmer to teach the bird to fly. He took the eagle and said "Eagle, you are an eagle, king of birds, stretch out your wings and fly." The eagle looked blankly at the man and clucked. This time the ornithologist balanced himself on the fence and repeated the same command. The eagle jumped off from his hands and began pecking like the other chickens. The farmer said "I told you- he thinks he's a chicken".  The next day the ornithologist took the eagle  and carried him on the top of the farmhouse  and repeated the same command but for no avail the eagle didn't fly. After another restless night, he took the eagle up on a mountain, they could not see the farm or the chicken coop (the eagle's safety net). The man lifted the eagle on his outstretched arm and pointed high into the sky and spoke "Eagle, you are an Eagle! You therefore belong to the sky and not the earth. Stretch out your wings and fly." This time the eagle stared skyward into the bright sun, straightened his large body, and stretched his massive wings. His wings moved, slowly first, then surely and powerfully, with a mighty screech, he started climbing up into the air for his first flight and the eagle flew away. 

Understanding the foundational application of the story - those who are born again imitate His nature. They are the ones who wait on Him knowing, trusting and waiting on Him that He will bring us to new heights daily. 

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien


Yuri Richardson said...


Thanks for this post. I thank YHWH for the insights He gave you to share with us in this post. I'm a lover of nature and the lessons are many in this article.

I find it touching to see that when the older eagles molt, then others help them by dropping food.

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: (Job 12:7)

And the story of the ornithologist and the famer; is it a true story?

Sam Kurien said...

Thanks Yuri for the comments. I am not sure if the story is true or something from Aesop fables but nevertheless it gives us insight into the nature that we need to recognize
thanks for visiting