It’s interesting in Scripture that the prophet Isaiah speaks of the children of God being able to “mount up with wings like eagles.” There is no accident in Sacred Scripture and every word, image, and comparison is intentional from the Lord God. This imagery is no exception.
The eagle is an important symbol for many cultures in the world, specifically the Native Americans. For Native American tribes, the eagle is a source of trust, honor, strength, wisdom, power, and freedom. It’s the reason that even a single eagle feather holds special significance to Native Americans. The eagle is also the only bird that can teach us how to rise above storms in life.
“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait on 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.” (Isaiah 40:30-31)
Isaiah warns there will be a time when even the youngest, strongest, and best of people will be tired and exhausted. No one will be immune from the eyes of God and from his judgment. He continues to encourage those who follow the Lord that they will overcome the storms raging around them. Isaiah says that it is those who WAIT on the Lord that will “mount up with wings like eagles.”
Eagles are unlike any other bird. When a storm is approaching, all the birds except the eagle will run for cover and seek shelter. They flee from the storm. It is only the eagle that waits for the storm and seeks out the strength of the violent winds. The eagle waits for the storm, and it flies into the tempest rather than running from it. When the eagle flies into the storm, it actively engages the turbulent winds to use those them to fly higher. The eagle knows that if it can use the storm itself to propel it to greater heights then the eagle will fly high enough to soar above the storm. It is the way the eagle not only survives the storm, but it defeats it using the storm’s own energy.
We, too, are called to see that we can rise above the storms in life. Like the eagle, we can use the power of the force against us to strengthen us to greater heights in our faith. When we see God in the storm using the forces opposing us for good, then we not only survive it, but we rise above and defeat it.
The storm helps the eagle rise to success. Without the storm, the eagle may soar lower than its potential and not experience the beauty of the heights it could reach. We all have moments in our life where we wish there were no problems, betrayals, pain, suffering, sickness, or stress. However, like the eagle, without the storm we may never understand or see our true potential as children of God. We may never experience the beauty of the things God will do in us and through us if we run from the storm and seek to avoid it.
Do not wish for the extinction of problems and storms. Without the storm, our potential is limited. Do not run from the storm, rather prepare for the height of faith. Prepare to soar with the Lord. You only have to wait.