The Andean condor has a wingspan stretching 10 feet and weighs up to 33 pounds. It is the heaviest soaring bird in the world. Scientists strapped recording equipment on eight birds in Patagonia and recorded over 250 hours of flight time.

What they discovered was incredible. The condors spent just 1% of their time aloft flapping their wings, mostly during take-off. One bird flew more than five hours over 100 miles without ever flapping its wings.

To these birds, the sky is not empty but filled with invisible features – wind gusts, currents of rising warm air and streams of air pushed upward by ground features like mountains. They basically almost never beat their wings and just soar.

Learning to ride the air currents allows these birds to travel long distances while minimizing the exertion of beating their wings. The Andean condor’s exceptional skill at soaring is essential for their scavenger lifestyle.

They circle hours a day over high mountains looking for a meal of carrion. When they are circling they are taking advantage of the thermal uplifts, the rising gusts of warm air. This allows them to stay aloft long enough to find food to eat.

These birds exert so little effort and yet gain such outstanding results. They have mastered the art of soaring and reap the benefits of provision for their needs. There is much we can learn from them.

Ephesians 3:21 tells us, “His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine.” Too many times we try to provide for our needs instead of relying on God’s power. We struggle, we worry, we labor all within our own power. We try to solve our problems without God’s help.

We know little of 1% of effort and 99% of God’s power. If anything, it is the exact opposite. We have such a meager amount of God’s power in our lives. Yet, his invisible power at work in us can do so much more than we even think is possible.

God calls us to soar not strive. To rest in his unlimited power instead of our limited strength. We have the Spirit’s power available to us. We can ask for God’s help and we will receive it.

So much of what we struggle with could be taken care of by God. All we have to do is stop striving and scheming. And trust that God is able to do it.

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