We have an awfully good God. He looks after all things well. He made everything and knows just how to supply all the needs of his creation. He looks after the ant who stores up food and works all the day long. He even sees to the enormous elephant. He does all things well; and we can rest assured he will take care of you and me.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all they diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction: who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles.”
When my husband and I first married we had a young evangelist come to our church to hold a revival. One of the messages he preached was about eagles. I had heard the scripture, or more accurately at that time, the song: They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. That is Isaiah 40:31. But the song goes on to say: Teach me Lord, teach me Lord to wait.
I had heard the song, but I hadn’t heard about the eagle’s molting stage. What that preacher said about molting is what makes this scripture text so exciting to me. It is more than renewed strength. It is about renewed youth! Sometimes after a good night’s sleep I feel renewed strength; but I can’t say that I feel like I am ten years old again. But spiritually, we can have renewed youth. The Bible says so!
I went online to see what all this molting process entails and this is what I found: Molting is actually a time of shedding old feathers and growing new ones. It is a very painful process. During this time, the eagles gather together with others in the same condition. They go to a mountain range where the sun shines all day. Their feathers fall out. Their vision weakens to the point where they can’t see. Calcium builds up on their beaks and they can hardly hold their heads up. They may even scrape their beaks and talons off on rocks. They lose their desire to eat, and take on a foul smelling odor. While they are in this stage they often begin to peck on each other; sometimes to the point of killing one another. Eagles in this state cannot get out on their own. It is only because of the kindness of other eagles who have been in this place flying over and dropping fresh food, that they ever live through it. Eventually, they begin to retain strength, grow feathers back, and their youth is renewed.
I found many parallels to Christian who are going through a time of transition. This is a very dangerous time for eagles as well as Christians. They are weak and susceptible to attack. During this time we often just want to be alone; but those eagles know they need to be with others in a sunny place. We need to be in the presence of God and our brothers and sisters during this time more than ever.
The study also said that they may begin to peck each other to the point of death. Our vision is dimmed during this time and often we can’t see the damage we are doing. We must be careful and give our brothers and sisters strength, not damage. And the last and most important thing we need is each other. If we don’t help each other we will die spiritually! The younger, less experienced, eagles didn’t drop the needed nourishment to the older birds who were molting.
It is so important, when we’ve finally gotten our new strength, that we give strength to others. If someone doesn’t look and see, then send that help, it is a sure thing that molting Christians will in that stage. But when that eagle comes out on the other side, they are ready to fly again! With this experience they have gained in this process, they are renewed, strengthened, and now are ready to help someone else who is hurting.
Cheryl Orten attends Star of Bethlehem Apostolic Church in Ilsley, Ky. Her pastor is Bro. Monty Fuller. Her husband, Daniel, is a licensed minister with the UPCI. They are in the early stages of planting a church in Marion, Ky.