By Commissioner Jolene K. Hoder

Just as an eagle stirs up its nest, encouraging its young to fly… 
Deuteronomy 32:11a (THE VOICE)

My late father loved cardinals, my mother adores hummingbirds, and my youngest brother collects eagles. Thankfully, not live ones. At one time, our family even had a pet parrot. So my mother thinks it’s a bit strange that birds scare me. Ever since I watched the Alfred Hitchcock horror movie, The Birds, any winged creature with a beak makes me shiver.

In a sense, I think, birds are just creepy. Cardinals sometimes smear ants over their feathers. Scientists don’t know exactly why they do this, but some believe the birds use the acid secreted during their ant bath to help get rid of lice and other parasites.

According to National Geographic magazine, crows can use tools and solve logic puzzles. Some ornithologists also believe ravens may pre-plan their tasks — a trait previously thought to be exclusively human. California Condors have the largest wingspan of any bird in North America. So large, in fact, that they can be mistaken for a small airplane. And the average person would need to eat around 285 pounds of meat per day if they had the metabolism of a hummingbird.In my view, with facts like these, who wouldn’t find birds disturbing?

For years, I accepted the myth that eagles teach their babies to fly, throw them out of the nest, and then destroy it so they can’t come back. I’ve recently discovered that this is not true, but the idea still makes me think. You see, I am a nester. I love making my surroundings, especially my home and my office, lovely and comfortable. I tailor it just for me, my lifestyle, my personality, and my vision of how I want my life to look.

Occasionally, though, the Lord pushes me out of my nest. Flailing widely, I imagine that I’m careening down, destined only to crash and burn. Sometimes I do start to fall, but when I place my trust in the Lord, I eventually find myself soaring once again. And my world has suddenly become much bigger. I see and experience His love and grace in ways I never thought possible. He leads me to another much better nest. I finally make it comfortable, and I settle in once again.

I am reminded of Isaiah 43:19: “Watch closely: I am preparing something new; it’s happening now, even as I speak, and you’re about to see it. I am preparing a way through the desert; Waters will flow where there had been none.”

Another Scripture I claim when I am thrown out of my comfort zone is Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that.”

Whenever I’m comfortable, I know that God is busy preparing something new and exciting for me. And I’m OK with that. I just do once again what I’ve learned to do in every such situation — put my trust in the Lord. Because it’s then that I soar.