Eye of the Beholder – Anhinga

Anhinga Outstretched by Dan

Anhinga Just out of the Water by Dan

The Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) is a interesting bird to watch here in Florida. They are very easy to spot with their outstretched wings. It is harder to spot them when they are in the water and swimming with only their heads stuck out. This is where the nickname, “Snake Bird,” comes from. We were watching them the other day when we visited Lake Hollingsworth and it reminded me of some verses.

1. The Anhinga must be tired after all that diving and is quite water-logged (heavy-laden) and needs to rest while its wings dry out. The Anhinga does not have an oil gland like most birds and must dry its feathers before it can get airborne again. The Lord designed it this way so that it can dive deep to catch fish, which is about 99% of its prey. If the feathers are oily, the bird has a tendancy to pop back up to the surface.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” (Matthew 11:28-29 NASB)

Anhinga Dryed at Lake Hollingsworth

Anhinga Dryed at Lake Hollingsworth

For us, we can come to the Lord when things are “getting us down” and He will give us rest. When we pray and ask the Lord to help us and we leave the burden with Him, our souls are refreshed and we feel rested.

2. When the Anhinga first comes out of the water, they look all black and you do not see the white in its feathers. As the feathers dry, the color lightens up, and eventually the white shows up.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 KJV)
The Wordless Book song that Child Evangelism uses:

My heart was black with sin,
Until the Savior came in.
His Precious Blood I know,
Will wash me whiter than snow.
And in God’s Word I’m told
I’ll walk the streets of gold.
I’ll read my Bible and pray,
And Grow in Him every day!

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