Being a teenager sucks. So many changes are happening around you and in you. You desire to have a carefree elementary life, yet middle school is your existence.
The body is small, but the nose is big. All around, everything is changing.
Recently, we had three kids in their first year of middle school. Parents who have endured the middle school years with their child knows how tough this is. But three?!? Every day, Karen and I would bet on which child would cry. It was not always school problems. Just because the toilet wouldn’t flush right or their book bag had gotten dirty, or their shoestrings wouldn’t tie would bring on the waterworks. Going through adolescence is rough.
The eagle’s experience is no different. Soon after ether eaglets hatch, they begin a cry, which will last several weeks. It is a constant cry for food. Soon it will require the arduous work of both parents. The cry will grow more robust. At this time, the mother will know it is time for school to begin. It is a terrible ordeal for both man and eagle alike.
On one beautiful spring day, mom comes gliding into the nest, but this time she has a wild and determined look. She jumps into the den, screaming and squawking. The little eagle has never seen her like this before.
She begins to throw all of the toys over the edge. Piece by piece, she shoves them over with her wing. One of the comforting parts to the nest, fur, is discarded as well. The nest with it sticks poking up is now piercing the little eagle. Using their feet to hold themselves up is a must.
Mama then leaves the nest to get food. The babies are now relieved, thinking she is going to come back in a better mood. Each day they are now required to stand as their talons get more durable and more reliable. Balance, which is useful for catching prey, kicks in. The eaglet is not aware these days are what is needed to survive for his tomorrow. He only knows these days are hard and challenging.
Almost from birth, the eagle is ugly. Unattractive and unusually cumbersome, the post- fledgling period is unattractive. They lose their beautiful downy fur of their childhood to acquire short brown freckles, which will remain with them until the approximate time of the first hunting expedition – when an eagle becomes a man.
Have you ever been through an ugly period in your life? We all have. You have to go through the nasty period in your life to get your crown. The eagle’s crown does not develop until the maturation process is complete. The Golden eagles acquire the golden crown while the bald eagle grows his illustrious while plume. The crown signifies the coming of age and matureness. With it, the eagle has arrived.
The Bible speaks of many different crowns, but all crowns are the same reward of victory given to those who endure. Each hardship, each difficulty, is another step closer to the crown of life promised to those who stay.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
In the same way that the color of the head names the eagles, we as members of God’s family are named and crowned in His likeness. Christ is the head, and so we are called Christians:
Revelation 4:10-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
The twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
As the eaglet matures, he begins to resemble his parents more and more, and so it is with the Eaglet Christian:
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
The word transformed in the original languages uses the word where we get the word metamorphosis today. Metamorphosis is the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more distinct stages. This verse shares how the Holy Spirit is used in our lives to mature and take us from an elementary stage to full maturation in Christ.
Returning to the eaglet’s growing transformation, now it has adjusted its massive bodies for support. They still abide in the safety of the nest. They frequently gaze at their parents soaring high above navigating the current. They study and marvel as they swoop down to gather food.
Then, without any further warning comes the scariest and dreadful day – graduation day. They had forgotten their mother’s rowing when their toys and bedding were disposed, but today, mommy comes back again with an even wilder look in her eyes.
Instead of taking her stationed stance on the side of the nest, she enters into the center. She then begins to flutter her wings while screaming. The eaglets then start screaming, hoping dad will come and stop this insanity. Yet, dad is flying high above appearing not moved by the drama taking place in the nest.
Slowly yet purposefully, the mother begins to nudge one of the eaglets closer to the edge of the nest. Appearing over the side of the nest, the sense of death comes over the eaglet. Then immediately, he is thrown over. Confused, he has no time to debate or question. Mother pushes them out of the nest, and it is fly or die.
Eagle College has begun and just as the scripture shares:
“As an eagle that stirs up her nest, that flutters over her young, He spread abroad His wings; He took them, He bore them on His pinions.” Deuteronomy 32:11
As the eaglet is falling, the instinct to live kicks in. He screams for help, yet none comes. As he is falling, he begins to flap his young wings. He waves until they become weak and can no longer flap. Death is imminent.
All of a sudden, he looks. Father eagle is flying rapidly to his aid. He swoops down under the baby eagle before he crashes to the ground. With rapid speed, the father eagle calculates the last moment to save the eaglet. He executes it perfectly.
Thus, you can now see the importance of the dating game between the male and female eagle performed hundreds of times with sticks. The father eagle then returns the eaglet to the nest. Now it is time for lesson two. What appears to the eagle to be the cruelest thing for parents to do has now become the most beneficial. Eagles live the fly.
Please take note. Before the eagle learns how to fly, he must first learn how to stand. One desires to fly, but you have to land. To land, you have to learn how to stand. As believers, we have to learn how to stand. God does the same thing the parent eagles do, and that is kicking us out of our comfort zones.
We must be wearing the best shoes on the planet for us to stand, and that is the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6:15) Not only our feet but for us to stand, we must wear in God’s whole armor. (Ephesians 6:11)
When the Eagle Christian masters standing, one will see the freedom, authority, dominion, fearlessness, swiftness, and accuracy of God the Father. All of the Father Godhead is on display when we stand.
The same glory on display when we stand is displayed when He says it is time to grow up. When God knows it is time, he will kick us out of our comfort zone to teach us to fly. This is usually a time for one to blame the devil for our heavenly Father’s purpose inaccurately. All bad things God is a master at turning for good in our lives.
As we are tirelessly flapping our wings to survive, the trust established. Father God then bears us up on His wings and delivers us from the danger and death.
God loves questions. “Why” is His expertise. Questions of why roll off the tongue of a believer desiring to know the purpose behind the pain. If He did not love questions, the Master would have never taught us to “ask and keep on asking.” (Luke 11:9 NLT)
Yet as you ask, keep flapping and waving your wings. Before long, you will begin to gather the air of the Holy Spirit under your arms. You will then not only fly. You will start to soar, and this is the moment an eaglet becomes an eagle.
Kick and screaming cease. Fear of death subsides. Soaring begins. The Scriptures come alive at this moment:
Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! Psalms 103:1-5 NLT
You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Exodus 19:4 NLT