Albatross

January 20, 2004

Isaiah 43:2-3a – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God. (NIV)

When travelling in southern New Zealand near Dunedin, my husband and I went to see the royal albatross colony. These rare birds make their home on a rocky cliff at Taiaroa Head. According to the guidebook, it is "the only place on earth where you can see these majestic seabirds with relative ease." (Fodors)

I remember standing on the cliff, and watching the distant horizon for signs of the albatross winging its way home to its nest. As we watched the gigantic bird swoop and soar, we noticed that it was heading for the precipice. Below us, the frothing sea churned, its waves breaking on the rocks, sending white spray far up the cliff. Upon first appearance, I wondered how the birds could find refuge on such a rugged piece of real estate.

But here, above the churning ocean, the albatross found a cleft in the rock, where it was safe to build its nest, protected from the wind, and sheltered from the storm.

Although, to my eyes, the cliff seemed such a harsh place for the bird to make its nest, God knew that His creation would need this rock face, because the albatross, with its eight- to ten-foot wingspan, can take off only from steep slopes, and with the help of a strong breeze.

Sometimes we go through difficult times in our lives, times when life seems harsh, and we want to question why we are in these circumstances, for it seems impossible to find shelter. The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 18:2 that the Lord is our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer. God knows our situation. He knows what is best for us. In Him we can take refuge from the storms of life.

Prayer: God, how marvellous it is to know that You have provided a shelter for us. Help us to come to You, our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer, and find safety from the storms in our lives. Amen.

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About the author:

Elaine Ingalls Hogg <authorhogg@yahoo.ca>
Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, Canada

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