Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ever present Eagles

It started as a little girl. When I was afraid, I would say the Bible verse to myself...Isaiah 40:31 "They that wait upon the Lord, shall renu their strength, they shall mount up on wings as eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not be faint." I remember saying this to myself as I went into surgery, as I walked on the stage for orchestra, as I ran a race, as I faced difficult tests in school. I took comfort in God's words about the eagle. I continue to love that verse.

Coming from a family of bird watchers, we would often take trips to the mountains to hike. Spotting an eagle was a rare find. When we moved here to Maryland, I would see an occasional Eagle in flight. I was always excited to see this sight! The spring before Ashley died, I began to see eagles more often. One day Ashley and I saw an eagle perched in the tree beside our house! We were amazed! Another day, we saw several of them in field across the street from our house. We watched them together. I couldn't believe there were so many eagles right in front of me! My eagle watching days had just begun.

Over the past two years, it has been more than apparent that God wants me to pay attention to these magnificent birds! Since I spend so much of my time driving in the car, I tend to see them along the way. Sometimes I see one or two every day. There have been times when I would see no less than two eagles every day for weeks at a time! I wonder if maybe I am just good at finding them? No, I believe God has placed them directly in front of me! He wants me to see them, to admire them, to model their strength. He wants to remind me of his promise. He will raise me up on eagles wings. Sometimes I see them in flight. Sometimes I hear them scream. Sometimes I see them bravely perched on a branch. Sitting tall and strong. They are a constant reminder of God's presence, and of His promise.

One day, as I sat in the cemetery, I told God, "I don't know what to say." I was speechless. I was lost. My arms, my heart, my soul were empty. I felt abandoned, confused, disappointed, frustrated, angry. Just then, there was a rustling in the branches of the tree above me. An eagle, who was perched above me suddenly took flight. He swooped down over the cemetery where I sat. Demanding my attention, it flew off into the distance calling out with loud screams. I knew God answered my cry with a picture of what He had promised me. I was instantly angry at him for proving to me that he was there and that he cared! I was comforted at the same time, knowing I was safe in his promises to me.

When my grandmother died, years ago, my sister sang the song "On eagles wings" at her service. "And He will raise you up, on eagles wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hand.." God wants us to be like the eagles. They are amazing birds! I admire the way they command the sky in flight. They are graceful and strong. Their presence in the sky is respected by other birds. They are free! While I admire them in flight, my attention has been drawn to their perch. They stand strong and upright. They have such an impressive presence.

While I continue to be just where I am, taking life only one day at a time. I refuse to ignore the symbol of strength that God continues to remind me of every day. I don't have anything figured out. I am still lost and confused. But, I am thankful that God is the same. Every day.

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