After spending several summers in Alaska, I grew fond of watching eagles soar. Soaring is by definition gliding high, and anyone who has ever seen eagles know they do so with spectacular ease. Perhaps this is why God chose them as our model.
Aerodynamics of Soaring
To soar, an eagle needs a headwind, but since this seems opposite of what they should need, I asked my pilot husband to explain. He said that eagles must face into the wind to experience lift. The air currents flow over and under their uniquely formed wings, creating an air pressure difference. As the higher pressure below tries to equalize the lower above, the gliding bird is lifted up.
Gradually, though, the eagle will lose altitude, forcing it to land, if not for the added boost of rising air currents, such as warm air and updrafts, or increased wind. When assisted by these air currents or winds, a gliding eagle can then soar.
God Helps Us Soar Like an Eagle
When God says that we can soar on wings like an eagle, He is not suggesting that we attempt unassisted aerials. He wants us to soar spiritually in our daily walk with Him.
“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.”
Waiting on the Lord for renewed strength is often difficult. In the midst of hardships, the concept of soaring above them can seem impossible. Without God’s help, it is. He reminded me, though, that all birds, even eagles, must learn to fly.
With His help, we can learn to soar
1. We Must Face the Headwinds
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil for You are with me” Psalm 23:4
Storms and difficulties are like headwinds that blow in upon our lives, sometimes with gale-forced strength. As eagles face headwinds, we must learn to face ours head-on, knowing that God is with us as we do.
2. We Must Rest on God’s Strength
“…Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” – Ephesians 6:10
Although we do not have literal wings, we can rest upon God. He stretched out His arms on the cross to conquer the gravitational pull of sin’s curse on our behalf. We can rest secure in the shadow of His wings, knowing His arms are capable of lifting us up above any problem we face.
3. We Must Let God Lift Us
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up” – James 4:10
Just as lift results from air pressure changes, God lifts us by changing our perspective in the storm, and reversing the dynamics of our situations for good. Rather than allowing the pressures of our problems to sink us, we can trust in God, who is greater. With His power and love under-girding us, we can with renewed hope and courage rise up, even when things look their bleakest.
4. We Must Allow God To Sustain Us
“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me” – Psalm 54:4
Just as an eagle needs the assistance of air currents and winds to maintain altitude, we need God’s help to continue soaring. With the wind of His Spirit in us, and the warmth of His love surrounding us, we can rise above any problem. We can soar.
Rather than grovel in the dust of your problems, wouldn’t you rather soar above them with God?