Every winter in southwest Florida, the Eagle Watch occurs.
Since 2012, cameras have monitored the nest of a pair of eagles, and thousands of viewers watch the webcast waiting for the eggs to hatch or viewing the adults as they feed the eaglets. (You can see it at www.SWFLEagleCam.com.)
This year, one egg was not viable, but we’ve watched Harriet and her mate, M15, feed the one surviving baby. At times, we saw one of the adults covering the eaglet, perhaps to protect it from a brief cold spell or to shelter it from potential harm.
Of course, this always reminds me of the references to eagles in the Bible. These majestic birds are mentioned several times in connection with prophecy, and a few times in describing judgment. But we also find them used to provide encouragement or comfort.
Perhaps the most familiar passage is Isaiah 40:31: “They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (ESV). Over the years, this verse has been a source of strength for me when I have been waiting for the Lord to act on my behalf. It reminds me that sometimes waiting is a time of renewal and gathering strength. Like eagles, there are times when we fly and times when we must rest. And sometimes, God seems to force us into a period of waiting so that we will refocus on Him as the source of our strength.
Another familiar image from scripture refers to the protection a mother bird gives to its young, as we have seen Harriet do. In the story of Ruth, this young widow is commended for the way she has cared for her mother-in-law: The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” (Ruth 2:12, ESV). Just as Ruth had sought refuge from the Hebrew God, even though she was not Jewish, so we can trust Him to provide us with protection and refuge from the trials of this world.
I like the thought of being tucked under God’s wing, knowing that He cares for me even more than a mother eagle cares for her young. And that gives me courage to soar.
Are you soaring or are you in a period of waiting and resting? Either way, know that God will shelter you, just as Harriet shelters E9.