March 24 Home Communicator – Dear Parents – The first week of the mandated school closure is completed, the second week has begun with a ‘Stay Home – Stay Healthy’ order. Again, I thank you for the positive way you are managing this. You are so very important in the way your children will respond and handle this unusual time. I read a quote the other day by Josh Starr which sums it up well – “Kids are always learning. What they are learning right now is how adults respond.” Yes, your children are continuing to learn in their academic lessons provided by the teachers… but some of the most important lessons they are learning throughout this time are being taught by you. Thank you for all you do!
There are spiritual lessons that we all are learning during this time. I was reflecting on the verses from Isaiah 40 – “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Two keywords on which I would like to focus are – hope and eagles – and how these are connected to what we are living through. First, some amazing facts about eagles – please bear with me, the former science teacher in me is taking over! Eagles – one of the largest birds in North America – are amazingly created:
- Can get up to 42 inches long and can have a wingspan of 6 to 8 feet
- Have superb vision; can see forward and to the sides at the same time
- While flying they can see a fish swimming from several hundred feet above the water – this is quite extraordinary because fish are colored darker on the top of their body which makes it very hard to see them from above (just ask a fisherman)
- Have an inner eyelid that is see-through so that they can see even when blinking
- Have color vision
- Eyes are almost the same size as ours, however, they can see at least 4x better than a human with perfect vision – at an altitude of 1,000 feet over the open country an eagle can spot prey over an area of almost 3 square miles from a fixed position!
Eagles’ wings are also an amazing part of the eagle:
- Long and broad – effective for soaring which requires very little wing-flapping and allows them to conserve energy
- Feathers at the end of their wings are tapered – helps reduce turbulence as air passes over the end of the wing
- Can fly between 65 miles per hour to 200 miles per hour depending on whether or not it is a level flight or a dive
- Can soar for hours using rising warm air currents and thermal updrafts generated by terrains like valley edges and mountain slopes
Eagles also have an amazing way to handle storms.
- Know when a storm is forming
- Long before the storm breaks, will fly to a high spot and wait for the storm to come
- When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the winds lift it up high above the storm
- As the storm rages below it, the eagle soars above it
- Doesn’t fly away from the storm; just simply uses the storm to lift it higher – what an incredible and amazing thing!
It is no coincidence that God chose an eagle to refer to in the verses from Isaiah 40 when talking about ‘hope’ and ‘renewed strength’. There are times in our lives when we face storms – we are living in one of those times right now. These verses tell us that, during these times in our lives when things are overwhelming, we should have hope in the Lord. Remember – hope is desiring something/wishing for something with confident expectation. In other words, when we hope in the Lord we can be confident/we can expect that He will be with us and give us the strength to deal with whatever we are facing. It may not turn out the way we want it to, but we can be confident that it will turn out in the way God knows is best for us in the long run.
When the storms of life come, we need to respond like the eagle. The eagle doesn’t escape from the storm; it doesn’t suffer through the storm; it doesn’t fly away from the storm. It chooses to simply use the winds of the storm/the actual strength of the storm to lift itself high above the storm. So for us, storms of life don’t need to overcome us. We can choose to rise above them. Pressures of life do not have to stress us out. Challenges we face do not have to discourage us. Setbacks do not have to lead us to failure. It is really not the storms in life that defeat us. It is how we respond to the storms that will determine the outcome.
How do we lift ourselves above life’s storms? It is a two-part answer. First – we have to have hope that we will overcome our storms – remember, hope brings with it an expectation. Second – we have to set our minds and our hearts toward God. We do this by constantly working on showing our devotion to Him during those times and in doing so, we will be given measures of grace and the strength to handle those things.
I continue to pray for you. Please do not hesitate to reach out at any time.
Hoping in Him,
Mary Broene, Interim Superintendent