Soaring on Eagles Wings
Soaring on Eagles' Wings (Isaiah 40:28-31)
Are you running on empty? Are you weary—tired all of the time? Do you go to bed tired, get up tired, and run tired all day? Have you become quiet, sullen, or even withdrawn? Does God seem remote, disinterested, and the Bible make little sense? If these things are true of you, there is a word about soaring above it all from the prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah's generation faced devastating days. They would be carried away to be refugees. They would live in exile. In this experience, they would emotionally and spiritually cave in. They burned out centuries before anyone spoke of burnout. The prophet gives a way out of such emptiness. A confident waiting on God exchanges our emptiness for His soaring strength.
Strength Begins with a Description of God
Recovery of strength does not begin with focus on the human situation, but rather on divine adequacy. There are some things believers ought already to know. Isaiah reminds us with a double question. "Do you not know" by repeated experiences with God? "Have you not heard" from the declaration of His Word? There are four attributes of God that are foundation stones for the life of that source. We should begin with the divine adequacy, not the human deficiency.
We should understand the eternity of God. God was before time and after time (Ps. 90:2). For God beginning, succession, and end are not three but one, not separate as a first, a second, and a third occasion, but one simultaneous occasion as beginning, middle, and end. God possesses a complete, interminable life. Time does not apply to God. The question "How old is God?" simply does not apply. He is no older now than a year ago, because infinity plus one is no more than infinity.
We should think about the infinity of God: "The Creator of the ends of the earth." With God the question of location simply does not apply. There is no boundary to His presence. There is no place where He cannot be equally found. God cannot be plotted by a set of coordinates. He is everywhere and at all times.
We should be encouraged by the inexhaustibility of God. God is incapable of fatigue or feebleness. There is no diminishing the divine energy. There is no slacking of the divine vitality. Here is an absolute difference between human and divine. While we grow weary, He never loses power.
We should accept the inscrutability of God: "His understanding no one can fathom." God's discernment and insight are unsearchable, unfathomable, and beyond scrutiny. You cannot search through or explore God's understanding (Rom. 11:33-36).
We should dwell on these aspects of God. To love God with all our heart means we reflect on these mind-boggling truths. How does this help me? Because He is timeless, He can help me in my little time. Because He is beyond space, He can help me in my little place. Because He is inexhaustible, He can help me in my exhaustion.
Strength Continues in the Situation of People
After Isaiah has looked at God, he considers the needs of people. He confronts the reality of our need for strength. God is the solitary source of strength. He alone gives strength to the weary. All inner resources come from Him. God is the sufficient source for strength. He multiplies abundantly the strength of those who are weak, who have no vigor, and who faint.
He confronts the reason we need strength. The choicest among us will hit the wall and need His strength, no less the weakest among us. "Youths" refers to those choicest and most energetic who were chosen for athletic or military service. Even the strongest stumble, exhausted from depletion of strength or overexertion. We should recognize that no one will be immune from needing Jehovah's strength.
Strength Arrives in the Appropriation of God
We find strength in the waiting: "those who hope in the Lord." Waiters on the Lord are those who believe God can deliver and who wait for Him to bring His promise to fulfillment. Waiting is not passive, but is an active and vigilant exercise which absorbs the power of God.
We discover strength in exchanging. "Renew" suggests the exchange of our spent-ness for His fullness, our depletion for His donation of new strength. Like children bringing a deflated toy to a Father, we wait for the breath of God to fill us again.
We discover that His strength leads to overcoming. Some will soar like eagles. The word refers to the golden eagle. The bird has been a symbol of imperial power since Babylonian times. The golden eagle has a wing span of eight feet and lives up to thirty years in the wild. God grants to His waiting people longevity of strength for the duration.
That longevity is appropriate for the life situation. For those with a race to run, He rescues us from weariness. For those whose daily life is a weary walk, He frees us from faintness. He matches the strength of His resources to the level of our need.
Why not appropriate this promise beginning today? Submit yourself to wait quietly before the Lord, infused with the strength inherent in the energy of His might.