It’s not often you come face to face with a bald eagle, but that is what happened yesterday as “Challenger” the bald eagle, was staying at the same Bee Cave, Texas hotel that my husband, Jeff, and I were at.
Challenger is a non-releasable thirty-year-old bald eagle, cared for by the American Eagle foundation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. He has appeared on television, has flown around NFL Stadiums and his image has been placed on commemorative coins and license plates. What a celebrity!
When I think of eagles, I think of freedom, because occasionally I’ve seen them soaring— effortlessly gliding above all other creatures, rain or shine. It makes sense that the eagle is the official bird of our country, the United States, “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
What also comes to mind is the passage in Isaiah that says, “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 grow faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Believing Christians have this assurance of peace and freedom, like the eagle, even in the midst of the storms we face, yet we don’t always share with others how they can also receive this assurance.
Now more than ever, I have decided to be a messenger of this good news, so almost everywhere I go, I try to be “eagle-eyed” and ask God, “Is this a divine appointment? Does this person in front of me need to hear about your truth that sets people free, found only through belief in Jesus Christ?”
I have many opportunities because I travel a lot these days and last week, I was in Toronto where I had to take an UBER for the hour drive from the Toronto Airport to my destination. My UBER driver asked me what I did, and that began a religious conversation. He was Hindu, and from northern India, and prayed to a guru. I asked him questions about his faith because I was curious. “Does your guru ever speak to you?” “Does he ever do anything supernatural?” The answer to both questions was no. But as I learned about his faith, I also told him about mine. He said, “I’ve wanted to go to church, but I don’t know what to do.” I told him there was nothing required. All he had to do was go in, sit and listen and I added “Pray and ask if this Christian God is for real that he’ll speak to you.”
As he inquired about my faith, I told him I had a book in my bag that might help him, God’s Not Dead, by Dr. Rice Broocks. He was overjoyed and really wanted the book. We kept chatting for the next half-hour as the conversation shifted to another favorite topic of mine, sports. He told me about his love of football and wrestling.
He said he was a big fan of “The Rock,” Dwayne Johnson, who was a professional wrestler before he transitioned to the big screen.
Then our time together was up and as I was getting out of the UBER, the driver reminded me about the book I promised him. You see, I showed him no disrespect concerning his beliefs, but I also opened his eyes concerning another belief, and because of this divine appointment, the twenty-four-year-old UBER driver desired to do some research. I am still praying for him, but figure God can handle the rest. That day, I was a seed planter.
People long to be free like the eagle. They want to soar above the problems that ground them. They crave strength—not weakness. They desire to escape from their weariness. Today, as we approach the celebration of the birth of our Savior, won’t you decide to renew your boldness and share with others about “the way, the truth and the life?” If you do, more lives will be able to fly to freedom.
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).