Orni-Theology: Anhingas—Accepting What the Lord Gives

I was birding in West Palm Beach on a layover (yes, I know it’s freezing in Michigan, but what was I supposed to do, stay inside?). I was at a little pond when I came across a bird that looks like the little guy on the left. It seems like he’s being held up by someone out of the picture to the left. “Hey, buddy, stick ’em up!” This is a sure sign of an anhinga.

Anhingas are water birds; they eat fish like cormorants do. They have one disadvantage from other water birds though. Most water birds have oil in their feathers that makes them essentially water proof (thus the expression, “like water off a duck’s back”). The poor, little anhinga doesn’t have waterproof feathers. This means that he spends a lot of time getting his waterlogged feathers dry.
If you ever seen an anhinga out of water, he will probably look a lot like this one. He’ll have his wings spread out, drying his feathers in the sun. Mr. Anhinga doesn’t waste a lot of time complaining that God made him without waterproof feathers, he just adapts to how he is made and even uses what seems like a handicap for an advantage. Water logged feathers make him less buoyant, which actually makes him a better swimmer.
Anhingas are beautiful spiritual lessons for us. They willingly accept how God made them. It’s easy to look around at other people with greater gifts and wish that God had made you like them. Or perhaps you are handicapped and you look at people that aren’t and wonder why God created you with a handicap. When you’re wondering why God made you the way he did, or why he put you into a situation in which you do not wish to be, just think of Mr. Anhinga. God in his all-wise purposes put you into your situation for good reason. Accept what the Lord gives willingly and find out how you can glorify God in your situation, or with your handicap.
Christians should be the anhingas of the homosapien world. People should see us and say to themselves, “those Christians sure look funny, but you never see them complaining about their situation, they just willingly accept who they are and make the best of it.”
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