I believe we have something in common with the eagle.
As eagles age, the eagles beak and talons become encrusted with calcium. This calcium causes them to not be as sharp as they once were and, therefore, the eagle can no longer hunt as effectively as it once could. He loses his feathers, as well. As a result of losing his feathers, it causes the body of the eagle to whistle as it dives toward its pray. The eagle is entering into a new stage of life, called, “Living amongst the rocks.” The majestic eagle, once full of life and vigor, transitions from soaring amongst great heights, to literally living amongst the rocks. While living amongst the rocks, the eagle will pluck out his own feathers, break his calcium encrusted beak off upon a rock, and even scratch his talons against the rocks until they are literally nubs. Once those who soared so high in all of their pride, they have been brought down to their vulnerabilities. It reminds me of the words of the prophet Obadiah, in Obadiah 1:3, “Though you ascend as high as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down,” says the LORD.” In the life of an eagle, to live “amongst the rocks” is the most dangerous stage of their life. They become vulnerable and defenseless. They cannot escape predators, nor can they provide for themselves food. As a result, many of them die. Yet, for those who live and persevere through this stage, something amazing occurs. Their beak and feathers begin to grow back, their talons grow back sharper than ever before and, if they hang on long enough to survive, they will step out of the rocks, flap their wings, and take the skies again in victory.
David once wrote, in Psalm 103:2-5, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
In all Solomon’s wisdom, he reminded us that life is full of seasons, (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). However, at the conclusion of this exhaustive list, he poses the question, in v. 9, “What profit has the worker from that in which he labors?” I suppose there comes a time in the lives of many Christians where they are “living amongst the rocks.” As the days grow longer, it is becoming more difficult to find solid pleasure in the labors of men. To me, this is one of the most trying seasons of life for a Christian. This Christian sees their feathers began to fall out, along with their excitement and zeal for the Lord’s work. This Christian knows that their mind is no longer as sharp as it once was, and perhaps their working knowledge of the word of God has begun to wane. This Christian must swallow their pride and realize that, in some ways, they are defenseless and vulnerable. I suppose, some Christians reach a stage of life where it becomes easier to find more discouragement in their life, than encouragement. Remember, this too is a season of life. When Jesus wrote his letter to the church at Smyrna, a persecuted and helpless church, He said, in Revelation 2:10, “Be faithful unto… a certain age?” No, “Be faithful unto… death.” To those who find themselves in this season of life, remember these words, “This too shall pass.” If you possess patience, your feathers of excitement will grow back, your talons of knowledge will reappear, and as David said, “You will be renewed as the eagle.” The Lord will help you finish what you have started in this life, (Philippians 1:6). While you may find yourself currently “living amongst the rocks”, one day you will step out of those rocks, flap your wings, and take flight in victory.
In 1929, Albert Brumley wrote these words, which speak to the heart of those “living amongst the rocks”, when he said, “Just a few more weary days and then, I’ll fly away; To a land where joy shall never end, I’ll fly away.”