“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isa. 40:31).
Running is a very relaxing activity which many people enjoyed. Some people would make it a point to put on their jogging shoes and with an iPod in arm and pound the pavements for a relaxing evening of running. Some people are really good runners and they could run for a long period of time. However, no matter how good a runner you may be, there will come a time after a long run, you will be feeling tired. But have you considered a time where you could run and would not get tired? Well, the Bible has this special promise: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isa. 40:31).
How wonderful it is to have such a promise in the Word of God – God will strengthen those who wait upon Him! To those who wait upon Him, the Word of God says they shall never be weary or faint. But such a promise is hard for us to accept it readily into our hearts. When we look at our own physical body – the fatigue, the tiredness, the weariness, and the infirmity of the flesh – it is hard to imagine how we could be strengthened.
Yes, when we look at ourselves we have no hope. That is the precisely what the Israelites did during the time of Isaiah. It was a time of national despondency. Their nation was destroyed and they were carried into the land of captivity. They were subjected to the rule of an idolatrous nation. They felt totally powerless. It was at such moment that Isaiah told them to stop looking at themselves but to look unto God for strength. It is noteworthy to observe that before Isaiah delivered this promise, he reminded the people to consider the attribute of God: “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding” (Isa. 40:28).
Isn’t our Lord the Creator of the heaven and the earth? Don’t we know that the Lord is an everlasting God with everlasting strength – One who neither faints nor is wearied? Unlike human beings, God is not constrained by limited strength. He does not feel weary nor does He feel tired such that He needs a rest from the governing of the whole world: “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps. 121:4). God never feels tired hearing our prayers – so pray without ceasing. God never feels tired helping us by His power. The psalmist declares: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). How wonderful it is to note that our Lord is not only an everlasting God but also in Him is everlasting strength. So, let us learn, as Isaiah urged his hearers: “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isa. 26:4).
Yes, the Bible reminds us to trust in the Lord forever – to put our faith and hope in Him because He is the Lord with everlasting strength. Many times, we have tried to take things head on with our own strength instead of trusting God. We do things by our ability and might. This particularly holds true for us when we are in our youths who are endowed with physical strength. But after some time, we will realize that we can never go far in our own strength, as Isaiah pointed out: “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall” (Isa. 40:30). How true it is when you try to accomplish things based on your own strength, you will realize that you are not able to overcome the obstacles in front of you. You will never go the distance which God wanted you to. You will never reach your potential, the place where the Lord wanted to put His glory upon you. But when you put your complete trust in the everlasting God with the everlasting strength, and wait upon Him, He promises that He shall renew your strength and you shall mount up with wings as eagles.
In the Word of God, many analogies are given to a believer – he is called the light of the world, the salt of the world, a fruitful tree planted by the rivers, a sheep, and so forth. Every representative speaks about a certain trait. In Isaiah 40:31, for those who wait upon the Lord, they were likened with wings as eagles. Eagles are a symbol of speed, strength and freedom. Because of that, America uses the eagle as its symbol. Those who wait upon the Lord are likened with wings as eagles. The Word of God did not use any other type of birds to depict the believers, for example, chickens. Chickens, though they have wings yet they can never reach their potential in flying. Flying is just too tedious a task for them. Rather, they are content to eke out an existence in the barnyard, scratching the ground for grubs and worms. When a storm comes, they will run for cover.
But the Bible likened us unto eagles, with strength and majesty, belonging to the skies – the King of birds they are. Eagles have a keen eye sight and are able to spot a tiny rabbit 2 miles away. Also they have a 270 degrees peripheral vision. They have a wing span of around 7 feet and can dive at a speed of 200 miles per hour. Because of his good eyesight, the eagle can see a storm coming even though it is still far away. Unlike chickens, the eagle is fearless in the face of storm. The eagle will wait and wait as the storm approaches. And when he detects the strong winds that carry the storm getting stronger and stronger, he will stretch his wings and fly in the direction of the storm. He will use the wind that brings the storm to lift himself up to soar above the clouds of the storm and thus overcoming the storms.
This is precisely the imagery which is described for us in Isaiah: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isa. 40:31). In life, we have to go through storms in life. Many times, we are very fearful as we feel the winds that bring the storms stronger and stronger in our lives. But let us learn this lesson from the eagles, to wait – to wait upon the Lord, and especially when we find our strength all gone. For the Lord promises those who wait upon Him will have their strength renewed. And like the eagles, we will soar. We will not be weary nor will we faint.
My friends, do you have such faith in the Lord, and especially in times of need? It is true that sometimes, the Lord calms the storm and leads us through safely. But sometimes, the Lord will let the storm rages on while He calms our soul as we go through the storm. Only when we put our complete trust in God, shall we have the strength to go through the storms in life. Cling to this promise of God.