Over a five day period, I saw them everywhere.
Near a prayer house I was visiting. Up by Shasta Dam. Over the property of a retreat/equipping center in Central California. The grand finale was a spectacular display of their in-flight finesse near Bass Lake. During that short five day period, over a geographic span of well over 300 miles, it seemed as if they appeared out of nowhere over and over again.
It is an amazing treat to see a single eagle in flight. I have spotted them previously only a handful of times in my life. To see so many in such a short span of time was pretty wild. But what made it especially unique is that there was never just one. Sometimes it was a pair. Sometimes there were three or four. The last and most powerful time, there were at least twelve to fifteen of them!
THIS. IS. NOT. NORMAL.
Eagles are known as solitary creatures. It is rare to see them in pairs, let alone in a group. But there they were, right before my eyes in a time and place only God could have orchestrated.
From the time I saw the first pair, I knew God was speaking. The initial application for me personally was simple and obvious. I’ve been weary–in part from fighting certain battles alone. Long before spotting the eagles, Jesus had been highlighting Isaiah 40:31 to me:
…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.
I knew there was a promise of restored strength, but felt there was an equally precious promise of “soaring” with others who have also been renewed. However, since He is the God of “more,” the Lord had an even broader encouragement to impart.
On my last day away, I had the opportunity to go into Yosemite for the day with a new friend. At some point I shared my testimony about the eagles and, unbeknownst to me, she prayed she would also get to see them. After a great day in the park and a long drive to get out, we were finally almost back to our starting point in Bass Lake. On the last leg of the drive, our conversation had taken a more serious turn to current events. We shared our joint conviction–and fervent prayer–that truth will be revealed and justice restored in our nation. It was right at that moment that I looked up and, somehow, miraculously spotted more eagles. They fly so high they are often difficult to spot, so the fact that I managed to see them at all was remarkable. On top of that, there just “happened” to be a turnout at that exact moment (I don’t remember seeing one in miles), and we just “happened” to be talking about righteousness and justice being restored in our nation. We pulled over and stood in awe as at least a dozen eagles soared and dipped, performing on cue in an amazing and sovereignly choreographed kiss of encouragement from heaven.
The spiritual significance was not lost on us. The eagle isn’t just the national bird and a widely recognized symbol of the U.S., eagles also have tremendous prophetic symbolism and can even represent prophets themselves. There is much that could be surmised about what God was speaking through this divine encounter, but for now I’ll just say this:
God acts for the one who waits for Him.
Strength is being renewed for those who have waited on Him.
And, perhaps most fittingly …
The eagles are rising!
This time, they’re not alone.
“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.”