Today is day three of the Gratitude Challenge, and the word of the day is altitude.

If you’re seeing this Gratitude challenge for the first time, you can find out more about it over at The Uncommon Normal. It’s not too late to join in if you’re interested!

The Altitude of an Eagle

You’ve probably heard the term “soar with the eagles” because it’s a common phrase. But have you ever wondered why?

bald eagle soaring in the sky
Photo by Cheryl Prince on

It’s because they can attain an altitude that matches that of many small planes. The bald eagle can soar at more than 11,000 feet, thanks to large lungs and modified hemoglobin in their blood. These are only a couple of the attributes that allow them to reach this height, which has only one-third the amount of oxygen that we have here on the ground.

The eagle is also known to rise above storms into a space that they usually would not be able to reach. They boldly fly into the gale of the storm, using the force of the storm itself to gain higher and higher altitudes.

Once above the storm, they can see prey in the water and on the ground because they can see for miles. In fact, they can see about four times further than we humans can see.

Above the Storm

Most birds seek shelter from the rain because their feathers are too frail to stand up in wet weather conditions. But the eagle purposefully flies into the storm and above it, and it’s the only bird that can do it.

The winds and temperature changes allow the eagle to fly higher and higher until it is entirely above the storm. Once there, the birds can use their impressive wingspan and healthy muscles to soar without a great deal of wing flapping.

bald eagle flying on gray background in zoo
Photo by Petr Ganaj on

And in all of their unique characteristics, eagles are almost always alone. They enjoy solitude for hunting and travel because a group only creates noise and chaos.

God’s Eagles and Their Altitude

It’s no wonder that the Word speaks many times about the Eagle. It helps to drive home points that are easier to understand if you know the facts about the bird.

Consider these verses:

“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”

Exodus 19:4

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”

Isaiah 40:31

With just a few facts I shared about the eagle, isn’t it easier to see why God would use this majestic creature as a sign? We can use all the analogies in the Word, but this one is of particular importance.

Rise above the storm to an altitude that you’ve never known. Look down at the storm, not above. And know that Jesus looks on with careful consideration, having set these creatures in a special place in the Kingdom.

Find Your Altitude

Are you facing a storm today? Does it feel like it’s pressing down on you and smothering your purpose?

Like the eagle, you can rise above it because, with God, all things are possible! I’m thankful that no matter what happens, He is an ever-present help in times of trouble. And He is a strong tower we can run into and be safe.

light city dawn landscape
Photo by Marek Piwnicki on

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