Soar. Rise. Prepare. ...Like an eagle.
Interrupting my best friend mid-sentence, my joyful exclamation was laced with wonder.
I always forget I miss them until they return.
Call me a tourist if you want (most long-timers on Kodiak Island refer to bald eagles as the buzzards of Alaska). I, for one, hope never to tire of seeing these imposing birds of prey soaring through the air, scavenging the beach, or perched high in a Sitka Spruce.
And those facial expressions!
Season of Preparation
Kodiak weather is NASTY right now.
Currently under a Winter Storm Warning-snowing, with gusts up to 60 mph, I will venture outside for nothing less than an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii, thank you very much.
Yet this is when bald eagles choose to return to Alaska.
Biology and instinct drive these American icons from winter feeding areas back to nesting grounds. Flying up to 225 miles per day (journeynorth.org), they make the final stretch over open ocean in fierce, frigid conditions.
Why would they do that to themselves?
Didn't they just fly south a few months ago to avoid this wintery mess?
It's simple, really.
Mating season is almost here.
Building a nest substantial enough to hold and protect the 1-3 large chicks requires time and attention. This is a of partnership and preparation for a singular purpose.
Timing is everything.
"If there is no wind, eagles can't soar. They will stay put or only travel locally." (journeynorth.org)
Apparently, warmth and comfort are pursued as a nesting location, but are not effective at assisting their journey back to breeding grounds.
Like eagles, sometimes we need a season of strong wind and pressure change to bring us home.
Sometimes discomfort is exactly what we need to position us to soar to our destination.
Don't get me wrong. I don't like discomfort anymore than you do.
I'd much rather spend my morning lounging in a hammock under a palm tree than watching icy spray beat against my window.
Instead, I am spending my winter in my own time of preparation. A building season.
Currently, my focus has been directed (ie: dragged like a dead fish) to life-structuring tasks like maintaining a budget and filing system, doing my taxes early (gasp!), and helping to keep my hubby on task as he single-handedly finishes home improvement projects.
That's a lot of organization and discipline for someone who has wholeheartedly embraced the free-flow schedule of working from home in recent years.
Throwing the organized baby out with the bathwater of corporate America MAY have been a mistake. Getting my ducks back in a row is more like herding feral cats.
As much as I loathe this process...and I do...Holy Spirit continues to reassure me that it is for a PURPOSE.
You see, God has given our family promises. Big vision that requires CRAZY FAITH.
That first step of belief now seems like a cakewalk next to this current feeling of trudging through knee-deep swamp.
Hmm...maybe part of this building season should include a board walk.
Thankfully, Holy Spirit gave me a heads-up, letting me in on this nugget a while back:
A time of Preparation is for the Purpose of Participation...before the Multiplication.
Don't blame me... I do not talk or think like that. Holy Spirit knows these catchy phrases stick with you like an annoying pop song.
On repeat in my head for MONTHS now, that phrase has helped me keep my focus through the discomfort.
That, and some much-needed Voice of God confirmation.
In my mind's eye, I saw a small stream making it's way through a desert.
Suddenly, banks began to rise up on either side, widening and clearly defining the borders and direction of the creek bed.
They continued to build upward along the designated path,
forming a tall, strong containment system.
Water began to rise.
At first the was slow, but I knew that the floodgates were getting ready to open.
A powerful river was getting ready to be unleashed, flowing new life and abundance to the land and it's inhabitants.
But it wasn't quite time.
It was waiting on something.
Without banks fully in place to house and guide the outpour,
the river would lose it's power and waste it's energy.
First, the time of preparation must be completed.
I got the message. Loud and clear.
Don't skip this step.
Just like eagles building their nest, a strong framework is necessary to house the coming blessing.
Reminded of an account of a widow in a desperate financial situation, I find the story in 2 Kings 4. Out of options, she goes to the prophet Elijah for help. He asks her what she does have.
"Nothing," she said. "Well, I do have a little oil."
Elijah instructs her to borrow many large jugs and bowls from her neighbors-all she can get her hands on.
Then he tells her to begin pouring her oil into them.
Long story short-her "little oil" multiplies. Soon she has an abundance, filling each of the vessels provided.
When the last one was filled, the oil stopped flowing. The sale of the oil was enough to pay her debts and for her to continue living on.
It's all very Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come."
I don't know about you, but sometimes I have big, God-sized dreams. Other times my main goal is surviving the day.
On those days, all I can see is the nothing I have to give.
LESS than nothing.
But, like the widow's oil, God doesn't need a lot. Only a little.
What he asks for is a seed of faith in the form of preparation.
Abundance is coming.
One of my favorite verses is when Jesus says,
"I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
Even if you have to borrow from a neighbor, set out your containers in anticipation of the promise.
Budgeting when there is no income... Picking baby names after a miscarriage... Quitting a good job to volunteer for a summer in Alaska... These are examples of my own vessels I have set out as a step of faith.
(Read here for more of my Alaska story.)
Did things always happen the way I pictured, and in the timeline I was expecting?
Ha! That's a good one... No.
But God is always good. Always. He wants to give good things to his kids.
Sometimes he gives good gifts "just because".
Some blessings require partnership and preparation.
So, my friend, let's brave the strong winds to rise like an eagle. So we can soar like an eagle.
But most importantly, let's prepare for the coming promise.
Like an eagle.
What about you? Take some time to reconnect with God-given dreams (or ask for new ones). What can you build up in this season to prepare for the coming promise?
Can I ask one more thing? If this story has touched your heart or you know someone who would benefit from hearing this message, will you share it?
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Please leave a comment! Let's make this a conversation.
In Him we live and move and have our being.