Bald eagles are accomplished nest builders. Their nests are usually built 50 to 120 feet above the ground. They ordinarily build them in tall trees, but sometimes they will use a high cliff. It takes a pair of eagles about two weeks to construct a nest. It will range from 6 to10 feet across, and the center pocket, where the eggs are laid, is about 12 to 16 inches wide and 4 inches deep.
The base of the nest is made out of large sticks. Sometimes they even use thorns. On top of that base, they add softer material. Depending on what is available, they may use dead weeds, grass, or dry moss. On top of that, the eagles will line it with down, their own soft under-feathers.
Experts say that when it’s time for a young eaglet to begin flying, instead of dropping a fish into the nest like they usually do, the parent bird will try to coax the young one out of the nest by putting the fish on a nearby branch. If this method fails, the mother and/or father bird will begin removing the soft material lining the nest. This is called “stirring up the nest.” Before long, the young birds discover that the nest is no longer the comfortable, safe place they have always known. Leaving the nest becomes a good option.
The parents “stir up the nest” so the eaglets will leave the nest and learn to fly. The young birds don’t seem to appreciate what their parents are doing, but once they learn to soar majestically far above the earth, I’m sure they feel better about how their parents treated them.
The Bible refers to this practice. One place you find it is in a song Moses wrote recalling how God cared for the Jewish nation. “[The LORD] found him [the Jewish nation] in a desert land, and in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions [or strong feathers]” (Deuteronomy 32:10–11).
The Lord stirs up our lives, too. From time to time, God stirs up our familiar “nest” and makes uncomfortable what used to be comfortable. That time of trial looks different for everybody. For example, it could be when loved ones leave us, or when jobs disappear, or when our health fails and our bodies are in pain.
Why would God allow our lives to become so uncomfortable?
The short answer is that God makes our lives uncomfortable because He wants us to experience something better. “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40:31). “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
You need to be made new because your “iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you….” (Isaiah 59:2). That separation may not seem like a big deal when things are going well in your life. When life falls apart, though, you begin to realize how vulnerable you are, and that you need someone strong and loving to be with you and take care of you.
That discomfort makes you realize how much you need your God. That is why Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4). You can’t fly like an eagle without Him.
With God’s strength, you can soar above your circumstances, instead of just hunkering down with your familiar comforts. You can find joy and peace in Christ. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).
Keep your eyes on the end result that God wants you to have. “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11).
Give your life to Christ, and you will discover that when God “stirs up your nest,” He is preparing you to experience a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Him. God “satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle” (Psalm 103:5).