‘They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
The author of this familiar verse foresaw a troubled future for his country. He understood that Judah was facing years of difficulty, distress and destruction. Isaiah knew, however, that there was a profound difference between those who put their trust in the Lord and those who rejected God.
Each of us face difficulty in life. Concerns about family, finances, friends and the future weigh heavily on our hearts. The stress of life takes a toll on our physical and emotional health. The reservoir of spiritual stamina is often depleted. Isaiah recognized this reality in the preceding verse, “Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall” (Isaiah 40:30).
Sometimes we try to escape our difficulties by fleeing from them. People seek refuge by changing their social or spiritual surroundings. They may even attempt to mask their problems by substance abuse or illicit relationships. God knows better. Through the inspired prophet He reminds us that it is impossible to hide from our problems. We can, however, rise above them.
Eagles are fascinating creatures with large wing spans that enable them to soar higher than any other bird. By catching updrafts, the eagle rises above storms on the surface and sails above the clouds. Other birds seek shelter when storms arise. The eagle rises above the storms. Its superior vision enables it to see clearly for miles.
It is a symbol of daring courage and strength. The highest rank attained by a Boy Scout is “Eagle.” The first manned vehicle to land on the moon was named “Eagle.” The presidential seal of the United States features an eagle as its centerpiece.
Trusting in God does not eliminate difficult circumstances. It does enable us to soar above them. In doing so, we find the strength and stamina to “run and not grow weary, walk and not faint.” The key is to put our hope (trust) in the Lord’s strength and care. “Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, leading the ewes with care” (Isaiah 40:11)
Are you soaring on the wings of faith or grounded by the futility of the world? God invites you to put complete trust in Him and rise to exciting new heights.
Steve Reeves is the minister at the West Side Church of Christ in Searcy.