One Amazing Animal - The Warrior's Journey®

One Amazing Animal

11th MEU conducts Sustainment Training. Photo by US Air Force is licensed under CC By 2.0

Just how far can you go?

Was it bootcamp? . . . maybe OCS? . . . What was it for you?

Which program or phase really pushed you right to your limits?  Maybe it was an altogether different situation that made you question whether you could actually succeed? Regardless, most of us can relate to the feeling. Where do you get your strength when the hike is long?

The bar-tailed godwit is perhaps the most amazing bird on earth. To look at her you wouldn’t think so. She’s no “small fry” like a Bee Hummingbird, but neither is she an “Osprey.” She’s a medium sized bird, about the size of a seagull – 15-16 inches from beak to tail, with a 28-inch wingspan. The most noticeable thing about her is her long, skinny beak, which gives her a sort of nit-picky, nosey look. Another visible characteristic about this bird is how fat it gets. On the mud flats of New Zealand bar-tailed godwits gorge themselves so much on insects, crustaceans, and aquatic plants that 50% of their body weight becomes fat before their annual migration begins. No, she wouldn’t stand a chance under the Army’s height-weight standards.

bar_tailed_godwitWhat makes the bar-tailed godwit so amazing is that they make the longest non-stop flights of any bird. For instance, satellites have tracked females with transmitters taking non-stop flights from Alaska to New Zealand. This return route of their annual migration is nearly 8,000 miles long, from the northern reaches of the North Pacific to the southern extremes of the South Pacific. It’s the equivalent of flying from London to Los Angeles and overshooting LA by 1,000 miles. The bar-tailed godwit makes this phenomenal journey in eight days, without ever stopping to eat, drink, or rest along the way

And to those who reach out to Him for strength, God will make them greater than themselves and equal to any task.

You know, the next time you’re faced with a long-term project or endurance test-type challenge remember the bar-tailed godwit. God gives this bird what it takes to do what is physically impossible. And to those who reach out to Him for strength, God will make them greater than themselves and equal to any task. “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint,” (Isaiah 40:31, NKJV).


Almighty Father in heaven, in You I place my faith and hope. Please renew my strength and inspire my heart so that I will follow through with all my tasks and finish triumphant. Amen.

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