Eagles are amazing parents.
I didn’t know how special their nest was for their babies.
To make it, Daddy Eagle picks up sturdy twigs and sharp thorns to build this special home. But to make the nest comfortable, he’ll cover the twigs and thorns with soft grass.
And here’s the amazing part: Mommy Eagle will pluck her own feathers from her breast! She’ll place them on the nest for added warmth and softness.
Many times a day, Mommy Eagle will fly out to look for food. She’ll fly back to put fish and other food into the open mouths of her hungry kids.
Because the nests are built on high rocky cliffs, winds are very strong. Whenever there’s a storm, Mommy Eagle covers them with her large wings.
The tiny eaglets live a pampered life.
Because every need is met by their loving parents.
But one day, it’s time to teach them how to fly.
And in an instant, their entire world changes.
Flight Training Is Always Cruel
To teach their young to fly, Eagles follow four stages–all painful.
First, Mommy stops bringing food.
The tiny ones are crying out in hunger but she doesn’t seem to hear them. The kids are in shock. They ask, “Why is Mommy not listening to our cries?”
Second, she flaps her wings to sweep away the grass and feathers in the nest. The sharp thorns are now exposed, pricking the delicate skin of the Eaglets.
Third, she does the unthinkable: She throws them out of the nest. The little Eaglets jump back in, only to be pricked by the thorns. They’re now bleeding. They’re shrieking in pain. And they’re wondering, “Why is Mommy torturing us? Why is she cruel?”
Fourth, Mommy pushes the Eaglets off the nest again. But not just off the nest, but all the way off the cliff!
The little Eaglets hurtle down to the ground–one thousand feet below–towards sure death.
But before they hit the ground, Daddy Eagle swoops down and catches them on his wings. He drops them back into the nest.
They cry out, “Mommy, why are you killing us? What have we done?” But they barely are able to catch their breath, when Mommy pushes them out again.
This death-defying, terrifying ordeal is repeated seven to eight times until the Eaglets get the message–and start flapping their wings.
Soon, they’re soaring on top of the clouds with their proud parents beside them.
Friend, this is exactly what happens to you when God teaches you how to fly.
God Taught Me How To Fly
Twelve years ago, I launched myself as an entrepreneur.
Because I was serving God, I felt God would bless my little businesses. I mean, that was the least He could do! After all, I served Him already for almost 20 years.
Confidently, I got my savings and poured it all into food carts.
I started with a “squid balls” cart.
I stationed it on the sidewalk, very near a market and a municipal hall. Perfect location, I said.
But the results were pathetic. Some days, I was breaking even. Some days, I was losing money. I felt very discouraged. But I told myself, “No worries. I’ll try again.”
So I bought two more food carts. This time, it was a hotdog stand and an ice cream scooping station. I rented space in a new mall here in Ortigas Center.
But month after month, I was losing money.
Soon, I was forking out money just to pay for my rent and salaries of my workers.
Finally, before the year was over, I had to accept defeat, and close all the food stores. My entrepreneurial ambitions were now dashed to the ground.
I lost P600,000+.
That may not be big for you, but that was my life savings as a missionary.
I felt depressed.
I asked God, “Lord, why did you not bless my businesses?”
I was confused. I told myself, “Perhaps God doesn’t want me to be an entrepreneur. Perhaps He just wants me to be a preacher.”
For many months, I didn’t know what to do. I was lost. I was like a ship trapped in a thick fog. What should I do now?
Looking back, I now know what God was doing…
What Will It Be: Thorns Or Clouds?
Like the Mommy Eagle, God stopped feeding me.
When provision stops, God isn’t saying, “I’ve decided not to love you today.” When your provision stops, God is saying, “I’ll provide for you in a greater and more abundant way.”
Like Mommy Eagle, God removed the soft cushion of my nest. My food businesses were like sharp prickly thorns beneath me. Every little move I made was painful.
When your life becomes painful, God isn’t saying, “I don’t care for you.” When life becomes painful, it means God is saying, “I have a better place for you.”
Like Mommy Eagle, God was pushing me out of my nest. But I jumped back right in, only to be hurt again.
I have seen this happen with people in toxic relationship. They get very hurt in the relationship and cry buckets of tears. But soon, they just jump back right in–only to get hurt again. They get attached to the toxic relationship.
But pain is life’s messenger. It’s saying, “There’s a better place for you. You weren’t born to live around thorns. You were born to soar above the clouds.”
Failure isn’t God’s rejection.
Failure is God’s redirection.
Proverbs 20:30 says, Sometimes, it takes a painful situation to change your ways.
He didn’t want me in the food business. He didn’t make me a cook. He made me a communicator. He didn’t make me to feed bodies. He made me to feed minds.
Failure Isn’t God’s Rejection;
Failure Is God’s Redirection
Like Mommy Eagle, God was teaching me how to fly.
He wanted me to get out of the food business because it wasn’t my big thing. It wasn’t my passion. (I just had a passion for eating!) It wasn’t my core gift.
Totally discouraged and without much money left in my savings, I was forced to create businesses that didn’t need any capital. The only possible businesses for me were those in my turf: Communication.
My first successful business was corporate seminars.
I was already preaching for 20 years. Why not preach to companies and get paid?
I hit the road running. No learning curve. From Day 1, I started earning.
Today, I run 12 small businesses. All of them incredibly successful.
Today, I thank God that my food businesses failed. If they didn’t, I would have been stuck there, doing what I didn’t love.
Friend, is God pushing you out of your nest?
Has your provision stopped?
Perhaps God is saying, “There’s a better life for you than this. There’s a better relationship for you than this. There’s a better job for you than this. There’s a better business for you than this…”
Believe that God wants to teach you to fly!
Is It A Dip Or A Dead End?
Seth Godin is one of my favorite business writers.
He says that when we get into a difficult situation, we need to decide if it’s a dip or a dead end.
A dip means there’s great success if you persevere through that difficult time. Dead End means there’s no great success even if you persevere for a thousand years.
So ask yourself: When you get over this difficulty, will you be number one or number two in that niche? If not, it may be time to bail out. And look for an area where you can be great.
Like I’ll never be great in the food business, no matter how much I persevere with my food carts. But I knew that I’d be great if I just stick to my core gift of communication.
Same Thing In Ministry
When something isn’t working, when something is causing pain, when something is not growing, be quiet. Listen to God’s direction in your heart. He may not be asking you to change location, or change a job, or change a business, or change a relationship.
He may be asking you to change strategy.
Let me give you an example in my ministry. My spiritual family is Light of Jesus. For over 10 years, Light of Jesus was stuck. Like we were stranded. Our growth was stagnant. We tried various ways to make Light of Jesus grow, but we felt like we were ramming our heads on an iron ceiling.
For years, Light of Jesus got stuck with 2000+ members.
We tried everything. We gave Life in the Spirit seminars, built prayer meetings left and right, but nothing was working.
Psalms 119:71 says, My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.
Our suffering made us listen to God.
And He spoke to us. He led us to change strategy. And the results have been mind-boggling.
From “Chapters”, we created “Feasts”.
Here’s the big difference: Chapters were traditional, religious prayer meetings for “Insiders”. Feasts were wild parties, radically obsessed to reach “Outsiders”.
Basically, God told to us, “Forget yourself. Love your neighbor.” In the old structure, we were serving ourselves. We spoke our own language (Christianese). We designed all our events for us, locals. But God led us to give up our selfishness and love those who didn’t belong to our group. We began to design the entire event for those who felt out of place in church.
What happened? We shattered that iron ceiling.
Two weeks ago, we were expecting 6000 people to come to our Easter celebration. But on that day, 9000+ came–and that’s just for Metro Manila alone.
For one year, Light of Jesus has been growing explosively.
Friend, do you feel that you’re stuck? Do you feel that life is stagnant? That you’re not growing?
Listen to God’s voice. He may be asking you to change your strategy. Don’t be attached to how you did things before.
Because what brought you to where you are now may not bring you to where you want to go.
Success Doesn’t Teach You Much;
Only Failure Teaches You
Your Most Powerful Lessons Of Victory
This is the irony of life.
Success doesn’t teach you much.
It’s only Failure that teaches you your most important Lessons of Victory.
When you’re successful, you don’t know why you’re successful. You just assume that perhaps it’s this or that thing.
When you’re successful, you’re complacent.
When you’re successful, you’re not teachable.
When you’re successful, you’re proud.
When you’re successful, you’re hard-headed.
But when you fail, you fall on your face.
You hit the ground.
You’ve got blood on your lips.
You’ve got massive pain on your knee.
Suddenly, you’re attentive.
Suddenly, you’re quiet.
Suddenly, you ask hard questions.
“Why did I fail?”
“What can I do so I won’t fail again?”
As you answer these questions, you learn lessons of victory.
And when you apply those lessons of victory, that’s when you succeed.
See Everything As A Blessing
One day, a man who was stranded in an island.
He decided to protect himself from the burning hot sun. For many days, he built a grass hut.
But on the day he was to sleep in it, a lightning hit the roof, starting a fire. He hurried to put it out, but it was no use. Everything burned down.
He was devastated. He clenched his fist towards the heavens and screamed, “God, how could you do this to me?”
When he woke up the next day, a ship was going to the island. He was being rescued! He jumped up for joy.
When the ship landed on the shore, the man asked his rescuers, “How did you know I was here?”
The men said, “We saw your smoke signal last night.”
Friend, what is your grass hut?
What has been taken away from you?
What has been destroyed and lost forever?
Is it a relationship?
Is it a job opportunity?
Is it a dream gone bad?
Don’t fear. Don’t give up.
God is teaching you a lesson of victory.
Through your loss, your failure, your trial, God is rescuing you. God is saving you. God is bringing you to a better place.
Eagles Are Made For Storms
Let me end with one more thing about Eagles.
When a storm comes, other birds hide in trees and caves.
But not the Eagle.
Because Eagles love storms.
Eagles sense in their bodies that a storm is coming. And they get excited.
Because Eagles don’t really fly. Eagles soar. All they do is spread their 7-foot wings and use the wind to carry them. So the stronger the wind, the higher they go.
Some say that Eagles can sleep in the storm.
Friend, your storm will lift you higher.
Rest in God’s love.
May your dreams come true,
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