To an eagle, timing is everything. There's a time to build a nest. There's a time to hatch an egg. There's a time to feed the baby eaglet. And there's a time to say "enough is enough" and teach the feathered food compactor how to fly! At this point the mother eagle wraps her mighty talons around the young freeloader for his first lift-off from the comfortable confines of the feathered nest. Mother will soar about two miles high while clutching her horrified baggage. When the time is right she will retract her muscular claws and for the first time ever the young eaglet is on his own, free falling, tumbling, screaming, and facing certain death as the ground quickly approaches. But, at the perfect moment, the mother will tuck her wings and make a beeline for the panicky kid. She will zoom past the tumbling feather ball, level off, spread her huge wings, and catch the mass of frantic fowl on her back. This routine is practiced over and over until, at last, the young eaglet learns to fly.
With this illustration God reminded Moses, "I've held you up on eagles' wings and brought you to myself." What's true about the eagle is true about God: timing is everything. His majestic moves are precise and calculated. But whereas He may be swift to save, one truth remains, God is never in a hurry. His creation points to the evidence: towering redwoods stand guard for centuries, blue-ice glaciers carve rock mosaics by the millennia, our sun's fuel tank has enough gases to burn 3 billion years. God is simply not in a hurry.
It's not as though He can't go at a faster clip. After all, it only took Him six days to create an entire universe. I've had relatives stay longer than that! But God's dealings with mankind have always been in real time, or slower. His travels with us are never on "fast forward" but rather on "play," "slow motion," or (worse) "pause."
- Noah was assigned a building project. Estimated time of completion? 100 years. (slow motion)
- Abraham waited 25 years for a promised baby son. (slow motion)
- Joseph spent 13 years in slavery because of his jealous brothers. (pause)
- For years the sons of Israel begged God for deliverance from Egypt. (pause)
- God raised up Moses to deliver Israel, but only after the patriarch was 80 years old. (slow motion)
- David ran for his life for 11 years because of an insecure king. (slow motion)
- Israel spent 70 years in captivity to learn a lesson. (pause)
God will not be rushed.
On this point God and I rarely see eye-to-eye. Patience has never been my long suit. This is nothing new to Him. My prayers have been filled with complaints on the subject. I'm terrified because "with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." I'm usually willing to wait 24 hours, but 8,760,000 hours? I don't think so!
Perhaps I'm not alone in trying to hurry God. Ever tried to set a fire under His throne? Tell me when I poke a familiar nerve: A long illness, an overdue pay raise or promotion, a smoldering church feud, a perpetual critic, a wayward child, a divisive staff member, a family problem, an undisciplined disciple, a belligerent neighbor, unanswered prayer, waiting for the church to take off as other churches do... am I getting warm? Why isn't God as concerned as we are?
From the patriarchs of old, to the disciples of today, God's leaders have always asked the same questions, "When, Lord? Why not now?" Yet, to paraphrase His answer to Isaiah, "My timing is not your timing, neither are your deadlines my deadlines."
For at the perfect moment did not...
- Abraham, with a knife raised in his trembling hand, see a ram caught in the thicket?
- Joseph, with no hope of parole, go from an inmate on death row to be prime minister of Egypt?
- Moses, with Pharaoh's chariots closing in fast, watch as God opened the waters?
- David, with a bounty on his head, ultimately wear the crown of Israel?
Jesus, who spent 30 years preparing for a 3-year ministry, knew something about timing. He exhibited poise and patience in every phase of His demanding work. His pressures would have crushed any team of Fortune 500's. It appeared His hand-picked successors would never catch on. But he was never rushed, never preoccupied with the day's frantic pace. He was, as His father, never in a hurry.
Timing is everything. Our timing is to wait on His. And like the mother eagle, God may let us free fall, but He's never lost one of His kids yet.
Ed.Note: a little research into eagles provided the following information. It would seem that the illustration used in this article is just that, an illustration. The lesson remains as does its value.
Baby eagles are taught to fly by observing their parents, and using their instinct called 'imprinting'. At about 8-10 weeks old when flight feathers are growing, the parents hover over the nest and flap their wings. The babies do the same, rising slightly above the nest as their new wings catch air. After days of viorous practice and wing flapping, fledgelings are nudged from the nest by their parents to their first flight. You can find more information here: http://www.prophetic.net/eagles.htm