The other day, I was discussing eagles with a friend. We discussed how the mother eagle lines the nest with thorns, rocks, and other sharp materials. After she lays the foundation of the nest with these kinds of uncomfortable objects, she lines it with softer materials such as feathers and anything she can find. In the beginning, the eaglets get to enjoy the plush confines of the nest. However, once it is time for them to leave the nest, the mother eagle removes all of the comfy elements to expose the harsher underlying ones. Therefore, the nest becomes harder to remain in.
While thinking about this, I couldn’t help but notice how this parallels our lives. God uses trials and unfavorable circumstances to develop us. Like the mother eagle, He provides the shelter and comfort we need in the early parts of our walk with Him. Eventually, He allows storms to come into our lives to prune us and prepare us for what lies ahead. If the eaglets get too comfortable, they won’t grow and their ability to fly would be hindered. So, the comfort of home has to be disturbed or their nest has to be stirred to push them to move towards their purpose. If they never fly, they will never know what it looks like to see through an eagle’s eye or feel the wind beneath their wings. They will never become the strong and fierce hunters that God designed them to be. The same applies to us. If God never allows us to face and overcome adversity, we would be like a ship without a sail tossed to and fro with every wind. We would never know how to navigate through the seasons of life or be able to stand tall amid the battle.
Another interesting thing I learned about the mother eagle is that she allows them to drop from the nest. She watches to see if they will catch on and fly on their own. If not, she is waiting and ready to swoop down so she can catch them before they hit the ground. Isn’t that just like our God? He patiently waits and watches us through every trial. Sometimes, He lets us sink a bit but He never lets us drown. He allows us to be broken but not crushed. He allows us to get wounded but not destroyed. He allows us to be abandoned and rejected but not cast out from His love. He allows us to walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death but fear no evil. Instead, He watches closely through the surveillance of His Holy Spirit for the perfect opportunity to save the day. He won’t let us hit the ground. If we do, He is the potter and can put us back together again.
Lastly, I think of how this parallels to the thorn of crowns Jesus wore on His head. The idea of the crown was to mock Him as the King of Kings and to inflict pain. However, the irony of it all was that that same crown actually positioned Him to take His rightful place as the King of Kings. If Jesus had not endured the cross, He would not have been able to be the appropriation of our sins and our mediator in heaven. The thorns broke His flesh and released the power of His spirit. The thorns took Him from the earth to glory. In John 12:32, Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” God had a destiny for Him. Like the eagle, neither we or Jesus can “fly” without the thorns.
Friends, the enemy may try to use our thorns, “our pain” for His purposes but Genesis 50:20 says, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” There is a purpose to our pain and that purpose goes far beyond us. Will you use your thorns to be a blessing? Are you willing to endure the thorns so He may be lifted up in your life? Will you turn your pain into His glory so others may live and come to know Him?
Friends, there is a promise in 2 Timothy 4:8 which states, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” My prayer is that we will all be able to endure our “crowns of thorns” so we may one day receive our crowns of righteousness.
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