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Penguins and Eagles! (09.02.05--Sickness!--Psalm 4:3)


Soaring like eagles may sound good, but flopping around like a penguin can be a whole lot easier. Keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground may not always be the most glamorous of occupations, but it sure is safer and more accommodating when it comes to dealing with everyday life. We’ve got everything we need right here on old terra firma. There’s the nice comfortable home, decent job, kind and loving spouse, pretty good kids and that old familiar pew with our name on it every Sunday morning. When you think about it, if you have all of this, what more do you really need? Soaring like an eagle may look great, but just getting by, “flopping and waddling” around day by day is so much more practical.


Do you ever think that way? It sounds good, soaring like an eagle and everything; but when you really put a price tag to stepping out and reaching other heights in your life, the risk may seem to outstrip the possibility of gain. Besides, isn’t getting to that stage in life where things finally get a bit easier everyone’s goal? Even an eagle has to rest sometime.


Though many of us have seen pictures of a huge eagle’s nest high in the branches of a tree or in the crag of a cliff, few of us have gotten a glimpse inside. When a mother eagle builds her nest she starts with thorns, broken branches, sharp rocks, and a number of other items that seem entirely unsuitable for the project. But then she lines the nest with a thick padding of wool, feathers, and fur from animals she has killed, making it soft and comfortable for the eggs. By the time the growing birds reach flying age, the comfort of the nest and the luxury of free meals make them quite reluctant to leave. That’s when the mother eagle begins “stirring up the nest.” With her strong talons she begins pulling up the thick carpet of fur and feathers, bringing the sharp rocks and branches to the surface. As more of the bedding gets plucked up, the nest becomes more uncomfortable for the young eagles. Eventually, this and other urgings prompt the growing eagles to leave their once-comfortable abode and move on to more mature behavior. (Today in the Word, June 11, 1989.)


Who needs to be an eagle when just being a penguin will do? The Bible tells us that God doesn’t make penguins; He makes eagles. He “sets us apart for himself.”(Psalm 4:3) Often He does this through sickness and sorrow. He “pushes us out” of our comfortable surroundings so that we can realize the potential He has put into each of our souls. Those who waddle around comfortably through life, never learning to soar, may be in for a rude awakening when the heavens open and they have no wings to heed the call to fly.

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