When Eagles Go Bad

5 eagles, (pic, Homer News)

“I am coming soon. Continue strong in your faith so no one will take away your crown.”

Rev. 3:11, NCV

Some of you know I have lived in Alaska for almost 30 years.  It is always so beautiful, even in places you don’t expect. 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 depressives like me.)

But my freezer is full of salmon, halibut, caribou and of course, moose meat. We pick berries in the summer, with a wary eye for bear.  We kayak, ski and snow machine for fun. My son snowboards. We get chased by moose.

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.

A hard day’s night

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.

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 often struggle with debilitating depression and and nasty 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.

aabryscript

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Waiting Time is Never Wasted Time

“Wait for the Lord’s help.
Be strong and brave,
and wait for the Lord’s help.”

Psalm 27:14, NCV

Much of the Bible describes people’s interaction with God. Almost always they end up waiting for God to fulfill His promises to them.  They wait and wait.  Often God takes them right to 11:59, and then shows up in some miraculous way.That is just the way it is.

The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people. 

Waiting is quite beneficial to us.  Like a slow stream, it takes time for things to settle, we are often turbulent, and waiting helps us calm down.  Slowly the stream becomes clear and clean.  When our faith is tested; we develop patience and submission.  And when the blessing comes to us, we will savor it even more.

‘Waiters’ are actually reflectors on the promises of God yet to be.  It’s promised, but not yet.  Hebrews 11 is this very powerful statement of people waiting in faith.  Read this chapter and look at them waiting.  Each one is looking for a promise yet to come.  Some wait well, and others, not so much.

Waiting time will never be wasted time. 

 We should weave that into the fabric of our hearts.  Waiting is not like sitting in a room for your to see the doctor.  When I sit in a waiting room, I browse through old and tattered copies Newsweek and four year old National Geographics.  I study the other people who are also waiting, sometimes like a detective trying to understand the story of their lives up to this point.  I look at my watch a lot.

Waiting on God is not supposed to be like this. When the Word speaks to us of waiting, it has a great deal to say about humility. When we wait well, we start softening.  God’s waiting room is the place where we spend a large percentage of our lives.  It is an active spot where we put ourselves in the sovereignty of God.  We see ourselves on His timetable, not ours.

“Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.” 

Heb. 11:1

bry-signat

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