“I am coming soon. Continue strong in your faith so no one will take away your crown.”
Rev. 3:11, NCV
I have lived in Alaska for almost 30 years. It is beautiful, probably one of the most enchanting places on earth, by far. Admittedly it does have an “edge” as well. It can get very cold, and we can have snow piled up waist high in just a few hours. The winter nights can be excruciating long and dark. (Bad news for depression).
But my freezer is full of salmon, halibut, caribou and of course, moose meat. We can pick berries in the summer, with a wary eye for bear, I never carry a gun though. We kayak, ski and snow machine for fun. My son snowboards. We get chased by moose–I was very close to being trampled once.
I have always had a connection with eagles. You can find them throughout most of North America, from Alaska and Canada to northern Mexico. About half of the world’s 70,000 bald eagles live in Alaska. And that is a lot. You can see them everyday here if you want. (And you never let your small dog out, he can become dinner for the eagle. Seriously.)
I’ve been thinking about eagles. When I went to the dump recently I saw several of them working the trash heaps. I don’t know, but it really bothered me. They had the form of an eagle; the wing span and the aloofness, but they were pathetic. Their feathers were matted down, and they looked completely disheveled. They were scrounging for scraps, competing with the crows. The dump here is like a “crack house” for eagles.
And perhaps the saddest thing was they were losing their distinctive white heads. They had given it up for dump food. This is a big problem in many towns here in Alaska. Their heads turn in color to a dark grey. You have to look a little closer to see that they are still bald eagles.
In the Bible, God is identified with being an eagle. But so are Christians. There is something quite unsettling and tragic to encounter a believer addicted and controlled by their appetites. Soon they will change, as they grow more pathetic and disheveled. They give up soaring and become wretched souls, without joy or purpose. All they know is a steady misery.
Those of us who struggle can’t live out of a landfill. We don’t belong, and it isn’t who we are. You see, we were meant to soar, strong and free. No matter who you are– addictions, compulsions, or mental illness. We can still become eagle Christians.
But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again.
They will rise up as an eagle in the sky;
they will run and not need rest;
they will walk and not become tired.
Isaiah 40:21, NCV
I sometimes struggle with debilitating depression and paranoia. But I never want to surrender to it. I resist living out of the dumps. It is a heavy struggle at times, but we were re-created to soar. Please, never forget that. Now start flying!