A DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT by Lois Coady
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and
not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
As an aging person, this scripture passage always gives me hope. Doesn’t it you? My mind immediately goes to the beautiful sight of soaring eagles. Have you ever watched an eagle soar? I have not witnessed this in person but have enjoyed watching them fly in videos. It is amazing to see them spread their massive, strong wings, jump off their perch and begin to soar effortlessly.
For the past 14 months or so, I have enjoyed watching two American Bald Eagles named Shadow and Jackie, on a “live cam” at Big Bear Lake. Last January (2020), I tapped in just after Jackie laid her second egg of the season and watched expectantly as she and Shadow incubated the eggs anticipating the arrival of chicks around Valentine’s Day. One of them was always in the nest and Shadow brought Jackie a meal of fresh fish or a small animal frequently after she had been on the eggs for a number of hours. But, the eggs never hatched. Days turned into weeks until finally Shadow left the nest for good in mid-March after dutifully helping to incubate the two beautiful eggs. A few days later, Jackie stopped sitting on the eggs and left the nest too. It was a very sad day, especially as Jackie seemed to linger like she wasn’t sure she should leave but ultimately did. No one who is involved with the eagles could say exactly what went wrong with those eggs but it was obvious that chicks were never meant to be last year.
This year started out rough for the eagles too. Jackie laid 3 eggs in her first “clutch” for the season just after the new year. The first 2 eggs appeared whole and in good shape but the third egg was broken in half from the onset. Unfortunately, there was something different about Jackie and Shadow’s behavior this time around too. He wasn’t as attentive, often leaving her alone for hours, this wasn’t normal. Ultimately she would leave the nest for a period of time and as a result, the 2 remaining eggs eventually succumb to the ravens.
But then, hope of new birth again! Just a few weeks later, Jackie laid 2 more eggs and this time things have been different. Shadow has been very attentive, not only bringing Jackie meals after she has been incubating the eggs for hours but also taking turns incubating the eggs himself quite often for hours at a time. I am very excited to see if the result of their “TLC (tender loving care)” is two cute little chicks, both of whom should make their debut in mid-March.
As I watch Shadow and Jackie, I am amazed by their perseverance. Year after year they build their nest, lay and then incubate eggs for several weeks in the dead of winter, and when blessed with chicks, they provide everything for those chicks until they are able to fly on their own which takes an additional 10-12 weeks.
So on those days when my body aches and my asthma is acting up and I feel as though I can’t do one more thing, I remember the Isaiah passage. I do have the ability to do what is needed when needed because God gives me strength. He will give me the ability to soar, almost effortlessly. Just like Shadow and Jackie, God honors my perseverance too. “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith,” Hebrews 12:1b-2a NIV. Amen.