Our summer travels often take us to the top of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, to a place where Osprey, or sea eagles, love to nest and play. They are marvelous birds, masters of the winds, often making it seem effortless to just hang motionless in the air. They spread their broad wings to catch the breeze just as they were created to do, suspended on the wind in an awesome display of the power of what can neither be seen nor touched.
Sometimes people say that God can’t be real, as God can neither be seen nor touched either. But just as that makes the wind no less powerful and real for the osprey, the fact that God can never be seen nor touched can also never be “evidence” that God is not real. And just as the osprey were made to effortlessly soar and rely on the wind that can never be seen nor touched, we, too, were made to effortlessly soar and rely on the invisible and untouchable, though awesomely powerful God.
I love the fact that the Greek word used in the Bible for “Spirit” is pneuma, the same word used for “wind.” We were made to soar on the power of pneuma—the Holy Spirit—in the same way that osprey were made to soar on pneuma—the almost constant wind on the coast. But baby osprey don’t soar right away—they have to grow their wing muscles and learn to trust that they were made to soar—not to stay earth-bound, just to watch and envy others that do soar.
We, too, need to grow our muscles for soaring on the power of the Spirit. And just like the osprey, the only way we can soar, is to eventually trust the power of the pneuma, and take a leap of faith. Osprey safe in the next aren’t very impressive. But when they soar, they are glorious, and reflect, if ever so dimly, the glory of their Creator, just doing what they do best. When we take a leap of faith and do what God created us for—blessing others at every turn—that’s when we truly soar!
Spread your wings to catch the power of the invisible, untouchable pneuma, to soar like the osprey–and be a sign of the glory of the God who made each of us to soar in our own way! Or just sit in the nest—but that’s not where any of us were made to stay!
“… and God will raise you up on eagles’ wings…” Pastor Jim