At Aftercare the other day, I took my very highly active group of children outside to play on the playground in hopes they could run off some of their energy. While they were leaping off the swings to see how far they could jump, one of the children glanced up in the big oak tree and noticed a large bird sitting high about their heads. I looked up and saw a red tailed hawk sitting in a high branch just minding his own business. He did not seem to be bothered by the children' noise or by the quick movements they made as they darted around the swings and playscape. Every once in a while he would cock his head to the side and peer down at the youngsters busy in play, watching them with his piercing black eye, only to look away again and preen his feathers.
As I watched him perched there, I wondered what was going through his mind. Did he wonder what the strange 'animals' were that were running all over the place below him, screeching and making other odd sounds? When a child failed to jump off a swing and land on his feet, did he wonder why that 'creature' was rolling around in the dirt? Did it ever cross his mind that one of these might make a good meal for a day, or two, or three? He did not seem to have any cares at all. He was not in a rush to go anywhere, and seemed quite content to sit there and rest. After a little while he must have decided it would be better to move on to a place where much smaller prey resided so he could find something to fill his tummy. With great grace, I watched as he flew out of the tree and sailed over the roof of the nearby house and disappeared. Though he was not an eagle, the beauty and splendor of the bird reminded me of many different verses in the Bible that talk about eagles:
Isaiah 40:31: "But 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; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Deut 32:11: "As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:"
Job 9:26: "They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey."
Job 39:27: "Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?"
Psalm 103:5: "Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's."
Proverbs 23:5: "Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven."
Seeing that today is my birthday, I am thankful for the 37 years that God has given me on this earth, to enjoy His beauty of creation and see His marvelous works. Each birthday reminds me that I am growing older, but His promises of strength and rest are scattered all through the Bible. He will renew my strength if I only wait on Him. I am truly grateful for the moment I had outside to reflect on that beautiful hawk and take a moment to see the world as the hawk did. He had no cares so neither should I. I will find rest and peace if I sit in the safety of the vines - which is Jesus. He will take care of it all.