I have always wondered why God has likened us to eagles. With millions of species of animals in the whole wide world, why eagles? I understand the fact that eagles are a large, tough kind of bird. They create an impression of a strong, bold, and powerful creature, spreading their wings freely and soaring high up in the air as if they own the sky. But not until I looked further into the life of an eagle did I ever get to grasp the sense of comparing the Lord’s beloved to such!
Eagles have many attributes that call for appreciation and credit. Here, we will know the justification about why God deems us to be like an eagle. Let us start with its sense of vision.
An eagle has a powerful eyesight. He can focus on his prey from as far as five kilometers from the air! He never turns his vision away from a deer or a rodent at this distance until he swoops down fast enough to clutch the animal with his talon and eat it. God said in Proverbs 29:18:
Where there is no vision, the people perish.
And what is vision? How important is it in our lives? A vision is a set of goals in mind that we pursue. It is a clear direction from God who, by the way is the giver of our dreams and desires, which sets us in action towards our destiny. It is our bigger picture, our inspiration throughout our lives. It is our purpose and without purpose, our lives will be meaningless. The eagle is so excellent at fulfilling his own vision.
Another remarkable trait of this impressive bird is that when it rains, he is able to fly up all the way over the clouds, and yes, glide above the storm! Unlike the other birds, they hide in the leaves and branches of trees; the eagle does not, instead, he flies above it!
Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:30-31
That is one of my favorite Bible verses that gives me encouragement when I feel that all of my physical strength has gone down the drain. Sure, it gives me new strength and total rejuvenation after all the exhaustion from the tasks a citizen of earth has to carry on. And God never fails to do that for me each time I feel burdened.
We are called to fly above the storms of life. We are never made to be defeated, but rather to overcome every trial and obstacle that comes our way. We are made to rise above the clouds of doubt and uncertainties and fight against the rage of winds and heavy rains of downfalls and failures. Just like an eagle, we have to soar high!
I love the way they fly. Eagles fly towards heaven and they like to face the sun. You may wonder how they are able to look at the sun without making them blind or harmed. God is a wise and creative God. He has made the eagle with two eyelids for each eye so that he can look straight at the sun despite its utter brightness and heat!
When you gaze upon riches, they are gone, for they surely make wings for themselves, and fly off into the sky like an eagle! – Proverbs 23:5
One of the lovely things about them that made me smile is the way a female eagle tests the tenacity of her suitor (I say we, ladies, better be like this too!): The modest eagless flies down to earth to pick up a twig while the male pursues her. She flies back again in the air and once she reaches the height high enough for her, she lets the twig fall off from her beak and the male would fly down as fast as he can to catch it before it reaches the ground. Then he brings it back to the hen-eagle and she would go all the way up, higher and higher and drops the twig again to be chased by the male. The initiation goes on and on until the female is assured that her suitor has mastered the art of chasing and picking the twig. That is the only time that she would let him mate with her! This perfectly shows us an example of testing before trusting. I believe this has to be one of the most important standards of women nowadays in choosing a lifetime partner. On the one hand, I also believe in what God says:
Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. – Psalm 146:3,5
While it is true that we have to test a man’s commitment before giving our sweet “Yes”, it is more reassuring if we put instead our trust in God about who is the right one for us. After all, He knows everything- past, present, and yet to come- that is why we need to surrender our own will so that He can move in our lives. If we never let Him decide for who is going to be our spouse, we would just be gratifying our own desire and motive only to see ourselves regretting in the end, if not totally miserable. He has the reserved one for you and you need not to fret about whether you will be able to find him/her because God will be the One to bring that person to you in the perfect time, place, situation, and emotional, physical, and financial disposition. And eagles are also faithful! For starters, I mean they are faithful to their mates for life! They are good examples of couples that better keep up a relationship that lasts a lifetime. They are a monogamous kind of creature- how sweet is that!
Well, of course, I’m saying this is entirely different from people who are called to singleness, though!
Furthermore, bald eagles never mate with different kinds of eagles.
Birds of the same feather flock together.
So if you are an eagle Christian, never ever date with a sparrow, a raven, or worse, a vulture Christian. God intended that if you are a strong woman of God, then your partner should be a strong man of God too!
Eagles are also family oriented. By the time they have eaglets, the parent eagles work in tandem to train their offspring to fly. To begin with, let’s talk about how they build their nest. When the female hatches her eggs, the male and female look for a high place, preferably on a cliff, to protect their young ones from vicious predators.
Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high? On the cliff he dwells and lodges, Upon the rocky crag, an inaccessible place. From there he spies out food; His eyes see it from afar. -Job 39:27-29
Then the father eagle flies down to earth to pick up twigs, grasses, and thorns to complete it. Everyday, they supply their babies with insects, baby snakes, or worms.
When you were still a baby Christian, a new believer in Christ, do you still remember when God was granting you right away every prayer and request you had for Him? It was to show you how loved and blessed you are and that how abounding His grace for you is! He granted you every comfort you wished for.
Time passes by and the mother eagle starts to nudge the fledgling from its nest so that it can learn how to fly. The baby eagle becomes so afraid so it goes back to the nest and gets pricked by the thorns surrounding the nest. Bleeding, the eaglet manages to flap its wings.
As you mature in your relationship with God, He gradually removes you from your nest, from your comfort zone, so that you will learn how to spread your wings and fly, how to break free from the chains that hold you back, how to view life in a broader perspective, how to live outside the imprisonment that you put yourself into. True life starts when you are away from your comfort zone. And it takes courage to seek the truth even though it hurts because seeking the truth strips you off of your own self. It is about knowing the reality that you are a sinner and that Jesus died for you to redeem you and save you.
The truth hurts but it will set you free.
Jesus has come to set you free! Free from your sin!
When the baby eagle fails to fly and falls, the mother eagle is just fast enough to chase her baby and carry him back to his nest.
You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. – Exodus 19:4
Your God can fly faster than you can fall!
God already knows when you would fall. He knows already what you will go through before it even happens. Know that He isn’t surprised at all when you fall down! What does He do? Surely He won’t just watch you failing, but He is already there to catch you, to carry you, to lift you higher and higher!
Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, so the LORD spread out his wings and took him, he lifted him up on his pinions. -Deuteronomy 32:11
You were born not to be in the nest forever, but to see a vision and fly up in the air to achieve it, to accomplish it! That’s what God has planned for you!
The eagle is also known for its large size and powerful build. However, there is another avian species called the Condor which is practically bigger in size than an eagle. The condor hates the eagle. So whenever the eagle flies around, he has to look out for the presence of his enemy. When a condor attacks an eagle, he locks him in his claws, flies around in the air until such time the eagle gets exhausted, he drags him all the way down to a rock so that he gets wounded, becomes weak enough and then die so that the condor could eat him.
The condor knows that he is the enemy of the eagle and he knows his position. Same is true with satan who is our enemy and he, too, knows where he is standing. Like the condor, he attacks you by clutching you with his hands so that you can’t see anything, so that you won’t have a vision. He goes “flying around” until you get tired of your life and you feel heavy and burdened with unforgiveness, bitterness, anger and insecurities. He locks you in his arms so that you can’t move on from your past hurts, from you loss, from your downfalls and failures. And then he finds a spot for him to drag your face ruthlessly to the ground so that you get wounded and then die. He wants you to die spiritually so he can eat you, torture you, carry you to his kingdom of darkness and fiery lake of burning sulfur.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. – John 10:10
But what does an eagle do before it’s too late and he gets eaten up by the condor? No, he never stays there doing nothing! Instead, he summons all his strength to raise his wings, he mounts up and flies toward the sun! The eagle knows that the condor cannot chase him to the sun because of the blinding light, and so his enemy has no other choice but to turn around and go away.
We only have One way to go so that we can run away from the devil- we have to “fly” toward Jesus who alone can save us from the tight grip of the enemy. And satan, who is the prince of darkness, cannot possibly look at the Son of God because of His glorious light that’s blinding him!
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. – 1 John 1:5
Amazing how God created such wise and mighty species of birds! No wonder they are being mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible. Eagles also have the ability to rejuvenate their features. Interestingly enough, the Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee has published in their website the different stages of the plumage (layer of feathers) renewal of bald eagles:
“In their five-year development to adulthood, bald eagles go through one of the most varied plumage changes of any North American bird. During its first four weeks of life, an eaglet’s fluffy white down changes to a gray wooly down. At about five weeks, brown and black feathers begin to grow. It becomes fully feathered at 10 weeks of age. In its first year, the mostly dark-colored juvenile can often be mistaken as a golden eagle. However, the bald eagle progressively changes until it reaches adult plumage at five years. Notice in the pictures how its dark eye lightens throughout its first four years of life until it becomes yellow. Also, see how its beak changes form gray-black to a vibrant yellow.
It is believed that the darker, more mottled plumage of a young eagle serves as camouflage, while the white head and tail announce that it is of breeding age.“
Everyone of us has to undergo change. Without it, we cannot learn new things, reverse our mediocre mindset, cultivate stronger faith, and have positive vision. Without it, we cannot mature and we cannot be taken to new heights and dream new dreams. We have to replace our “old feathers” to experience restoration. We need to go through pain and brokenness so that we can be healed and made whole again. We need to have a new life in Christ so that we can see in a whole new perspective what life is all about. Because like all the processes that an eagle undergoes in its lifetime, we should also ultimately learn how to rise above this world and learn how to fly. And eagles don’t just fly like the other birds of the air- they don’t flap their wings, but they soar!
He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! – Psalm 103:5
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! – 2 Corinthians 5:17
From a bird’s-eye view, the eagle hovers over the earth with great vision. Whenever the storm comes, they don’t shrivel and find a shelter from the rain, but instead they face the winds and raging storm and fly above the clouds with grace and confidence. When the enemy comes, he struggles and soars toward the light that blinds his opponent. They are a faithful lover and they are patient and wise in training the young ones in their great flight. They accept the changes that happen and they welcome the newness and freshness of transformation. They are destined for greatness, and like an eagle, we need to see these clearly- from the vantage point of heaven.