The other day my husband and I were driving on one of the many bridge-tunnels in our area. Living in Coastal Virginia, we have a great many bridges, tunnels, and a few combinations of both. We really enjoy spotting different species of birds, especially ospreys and eagles, when we’re near the rivers, the lakes, the ocean, or the Chesapeake Bay. On one of the spans of the bridge, a large bird came up and soared right over our truck and we both gasped! Beautiful wing span, black body and wings, and a bright white head and tail. We were convinced we were up close to a bald eagle! As the bird’s position changed, we were shocked to see that it wasn’t an eagle at all, but a cleverly disguised gull!
We laughed at how deceived we had been and how we see gulls all the time – such a rookie mistake.
We continued over the bridge for some time, looking at the ships and fishing boats out along the bay. Just before entering the tunnel, we spotted another large bird. Thick, wide wings. Powerful, dark body. Large, white head and white tail feathers spread out against a bright blue sky. There it was. The beautiful, majestic bald eagle. When we could finally say something besides a chorus of “OH” and “WOW” and “AMAZING,” I said something like: “There’s such a blog in this!” Here’s what the Holy Spirit has led this dense, struggling, Truth seeker to so far.
The gull was, in its own way, just as beautiful as the eagle.
God made both of them. He made them exactly how He wanted them to look. My disappointment was not the gull’s fault — it was my selfishness and self-centered expectation that led to my let-down. I wasn’t satisfied with seeing the gull because I wanted to see an eagle. I need to lay my desires at the foot of the cross and be thankful for whatever He sends me because it’s from Him for my benefit and for His glory.
Genesis 1:21; 1 Timothy 4:4-5
No matter how observant I think I am, I am not nearly aware enough.
I was easily fooled into believing that the first bird was the one I wanted to see. Beware of impostors. They aren’t what they seem. I need to focus my sights on what God has for me, not on what I want my life to look like. When I put on “kingdom glasses,” my goals will be for Him and I will see the path He has prepared for me in advance.
2 Timothy 4:3-4
God is just kind enough to offer me a blessing after sending me a lesson.
He knew I was going to jump at the first bird. He knew I was going to be swept into the moment of seeing the bird soar — and then, in the soaring, reveal that it was only a test for me. But He also knew that sending the eagle just before entering a narrow, dark tunnel would drive His point home: I loved you enough to send my Son to die for you. Believe in Him, and Him alone. Only then will I see clearly the abundance of opportunities He has prepared just for me.
John 3:16; Jeremiah 29:11
There is Light at the end of the tunnel.
I thought about these lessons all through that tunnel. As we emerged I felt a renewed sense of awareness and an urgency to look for more blessings. Jesus provides all the Light we need to see all the things He has for us!
John 8:12; 2 Corinthians 4:6
Dolly Mink serves on the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team at River Oak Church in Chesapeake, Virginia, and on the SBCV Women’s Ministry Leadership Team. To read more, visit her blog, Grateful for the Grace.