Graceline: Earthbound eagles, an oxymoron

September 24, 2013 

There are three things too amazing for me ... the way of an eagle in the air. – Proverbs 30:18-19

I love the zoo. There’s nothing like the zoo to make you aware of God’s sense of humor as well as His love of variety. The zoo has some of the funniest, oddest and most beautiful creatures in all the world.

God is some kind of Creator. His imagination is beyond comprehension: 4-ounce monkeys, 2-ton elephants, 30-foot long snakes and birds that would make the rainbow covet. And He made them all for us to enjoy (I Timothy 6:17). What a God.

Several years ago, we had the privilege of visiting the Jacksonville, Fla., zoo. As we perused the exhibits of animals, my soul became heavy and downcast. The animals were so lethargic. Most just laid around under trees or sat in them. There was no life, no zeal in their eyes. They were hostages bound by walls, fences and glass. It was sad. God created them to be free. To run. To fly. To live.

Then I saw a sight that really broke my heart. Two bald eagles were sitting on a rock underneath a palm tree. Majestic. Breathtaking. The very sight of them thrilled my soul. I love eagles. They are too amazing for me. Then I looked up. There was no screen covering the top of the exhibit. I suddenly realized those beautiful, glorious birds symbolic of freedom and might could not fly. The thought ripped my heart out.

These birds were made to fly, not to sit on a rock under a tree at ground level. The way of an eagle in the air amazes me, not the way of an eagle on a rock. The way of a snake on a rock amazes me, not an eagle.

Then Father began to speak softly into my spirit: “Many of my children are like those eagles. I made their hearts to fly over sin, sorrow and trials, but Satan tries to clip my children’s wings with the scissors of deception and half-truth. They are led astray by their own lust to have their needs met apart from me. Slowly the enemy keeps snipping away, a half-truth here, a compromise there, and before they know it, their wings are clipped.

“The they sit on what they think is a rock – their religion, their reputation, their self-sufficiency, their self-righteousness. Oh, yes, the eagles no longer have to fend for themselves, no more hunting, no more aggravation from annoying birds. However, those are the very things that made them alive and free. I made them, as well as you, to be overcomers. I did not do away with the law of sin and death. I gave you the spirit to overcome sin and death.

“It is by spreading your wings of trust and obedience you mount up with wings as eagles. Those eagles are like my children who look like Christians, but who have lost their ability to fly. They cannot fly without me. I am the wind beneath their wings. I patiently wait for them to spread their wings and fly toward the Son. They are not waiting on me. I am waiting on them. Be sure to tell them so.”

God longs to see us soar above the storms of heartache and sorrow. Nevertheless, our natural senses have lied to us telling us we are grounded with no hope of escape. That’s not true. Let us slip the surly bonds of earth and mount up with wings as eagles. There is nothing amazing about an eagle grounded on a rock. There is something truly amazing about an eagle that is launched from the rock and soaring effortlessly in the skies.

The Son is waiting on us. They who wait upon Him will mount up with wings like eagles.

Now that is truly amazing!

Kenny Ashley is pastor of The Journey in Lake Wylie.

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