The very first time our family saw a bald eagle up close and personal we were new in town and driving along Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor.
I thought we would drive right over the curb and it was all caught on a video being filmed for out-of-state family members. “Here we are, driving through the quaint part of town. Over there is ... holy smokes! Look at that bald eagle. It’s flying right down the middle of street, over the traffic!”
Eagles have made a marvelous comeback since the ban on DDT and their listing as an endangered animal by the federal government. Today there are many to be observed and enjoyed, but you must gaze upward to see them. The immature birds (younger than 4) will not have developed that beautiful white headdress, so it makes the spotting a bit more challenging. A quick glance and you might think it a large red-tailed hawk, at first.
Look toward the top of trees and you will eventually see one. Frequently the beautiful white head of a mature bird will stand out dramatically against the green, aglow when the sun shines.
If you are really observant, you may spot two birds sitting in close proximity to each other. The female will be noticeably larger (to cover her eggs) and the smaller eagle will be the male. Rarely will you see two of the same sex perching closely as they are extremely territorial, especially during breeding season.
Every time I see a majestic bald eagle soar overhead the powerful and poetic words of the prophet Isaiah sound in my ears and nourish my heart:
The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power to 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.
The strength and power of God’s words came alive for me this week as I watched a mature bald eagle feed on a carcass in a nearby field. We had seen him soaring over our home and had a feeling he was eying our beloved Chihuahua, who could be grabbed in an instant if it weren’t for our constant escort. Thankfully, he had decided to feed on something dead, which we know pleased him because it was an easy, free meal.
Being able to closely observe his intimidating wingspan, dramatically white head, and creamy yellow beak have visually added to this scripture and brought the sheer power of these words alive. How interesting that God uses this powerful bird to remind me and you of an eternal promise: He will renew our strength. With God we can soar on wings like eagles, even during difficult times in our lives. We can walk through the most trying of circumstances, on occasion, and not grow faint.