As the plane was descending to land at Zurich airport one September, two thoughts came to mind. Firstly, I would like to walk in snow on the mountains and secondly I would love to see a wonder of nature. God gave me both of my desires.
For three days it rained incessantly and on the fourth morning the mountains were covered with deep snow. Unusual for early September! Walking high in the mountains one day with friends, the going was tough and they decided not to go any further. They later regretted this decision when they realised what they had missed. My husband and I plodded up higher and were alerted by terrible screeching in the sky overhead. An eagle was teaching two eaglets to fly and they didn’t seem to like the experience at all. They were clearly disturbed, and constantly sought the safety of their mother’s wing. Each time they landed on her wing, she flicked them up into the air again flying beneath them and always catching them, giving them no chance to fall. Eventually the small birds made their final landing and were carried safely back through the mountains to the safety of the eerie.
Young eagles must be encouraged to fly and venture into the wide world, outside of their comfortable nest. They do not do this willingly so the mother stirs up the nest by making a noise and disturbing the eaglets with her wings to get them out of the nest to teach them to fly. The mother must stir up the nest or the young will stay there longer than is good for them.
Eagles’ wings are symbolic in Scripture of God’s protection, training and transforming power. He knows the harsh, difficult and painful experiences of life which we all experience. These experiences are needed to develop character but He is always there with that sufficient, unfailing, supportive strength when we need it. When we are too weak to sustain ourselves, though unseen, our Father is always there with us, carrying us through.
Like eaglets, we humans find the ‘nest’ we know a safe place, and often do not want to venture from its comfort. The safe place is a place of deceptive comfort. When the mother disturbs the nest, she is encouraging her young to imitate her movements. They were not born for comfort, but to soar to great heights and to be at ease. If we go for comfort, we might well miss the purposes of God in our lives, and fail to fulfil our destiny. When we trust God and step out into the unknown, His protective wings become our safe place. Even when we feel we are falling, he has promised to keep us safe in the shelter of His wings.
Our text for today is in the middle of a song of Moses. He is encouraging the children of Israel to listen to God, to praise Him and to acknowledge His goodness and His greatness. It is a song reminding them of God’s faithfulness in the past, even amidst their fears, when they were unfaithful to Him.
Is God asking you today to get out of the nest, to leave the safe place, so that He can teach you more of Himself and lead you into purposes for your life as yet unknown to you?
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