The Discipline of Disturbance

by | Jul 23, 2023 | 2023, Musings | 0 comments

As you are reading this musing, I have just come back from ANOTHER trip to Alaska. Yes, I really do love that place. And viewing all the animals is the best treat! The eagles are my favorite.

Those birds tend to build their nests way up high.  The parents gather small sticks, and then twigs, then pieces of fur or feathers until the nest is soft with lining. Once the eaglets are hatched, the “mom and dad” make sure that their every need is met. Meals are delivered right on time.

But on a day prescribed by the creator, the mother eagle appears to go bananas and begins tearing away at the lining of that nest. Soon the eaglets become so uncomfortable with the stripped home that they climb out on the edge of the limb. They just sit there trembling with fear.

Mom will then slide up alongside and gently give them a push. Down they go, tumbling through the air. And just in time the mother eagle swoops down, catches them on her wings and returns the eaglet to the nest.

This seemingly “cruel” act of parenting is actually a “discipline of disturbance.” Eagles know the nature of their offspring and know they need a nudge to keep them growing and developing.

Our heavenly Father knows that you and I need nudges as well. In fact, in Oswald Sander’s book Enjoying Intimacy with God, he writes a whole section called the “Discipline of Disturbance.”  Sander knows that we all love to settle down in familiar ruts and soak up the pleasures of life. We like the patterns and routines; they give us a kind of comfort and assurance that all is well.

But the Lord knows best and won’t let us just continue to just seek ease and comfort. He will challenge us with difficult situations (often providing a safety net behind the scenes). He will urge us to trust Him more and more. His focus is on spiritual growth, not the status quo.

So, if it feels like you are being nudged along a bit this week remember:

“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. The Lord alone guides him” (Deut.32:11-12).



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