While all other birds seek shelter during a storm, the eagle flies above the clouds to avoid it.
It was an intriguing tidbit, but a quick Google search revealed that it was probably more of an urban legend rather than a scientific fact. Eagles do fly high – higher than a lot of other birds – but “flying above the clouds” appeared to be a mischaracterization of what eagles actually do.
It was a sad reality to me, as I thought I had a post about overcoming adversity just waiting to be written. However, as I researched more, I found out a little bit about the flying patterns of these majestic birds. While they may not fly above storms, they are quite adept at using strong winds to their advantage. As one author put it:
Eagles definitely do use the winds (and some quite strong), as well as “updrafts” coming off hills and mountains. This helps them to gain altitude and set them up for a long, soaring flight to another location,
They may not fly above the storms, but they are able to use the strength of the storm to propel them in their journey.
And perhaps, that’s why God says that those who trust in Him will “soar on wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:28-31). He doesn’t promise that we won’t have to face the storms, but that as we seek Him and His glory, He will use trials to bring about good (Romans 8:28). He says He provides strength to those who are tired, not that the tired will not have to keep on walking. Just like you have to journey through some valleys in order to stand on the mountaintops, so the proper confidence in God can use the stormy winds of life to bring you to the place that He wants you to be, allowing you to sail higher – i.e. glorifying Him more – than you ever would have without those storms.
We may not be able to avoid the storms. In fact, as Christians, God promises that we will experience them (John 16:33). But that doesn’t mean we can’t soar. It doesn’t mean that we won’t get to where God desires us to be. In fact, it may be the storm that brings us there.