Monday, August 19, 2013

Soar High on Wings like Eagles

The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.”
(Isaiah 40:28-31,

In Isaiah 40, we are told that by waiting on the Lord, we will mount on wings like eagles. Eagles are majestic birds with remarkable vision. Scientists believe their vision may be eight times sharper than that of humans. They have powerful feet with talons that can grip like a vise. Their beaks are butcher-like, designed to cut and crush and tear their food.

But most of all, eagles are built for flying. They have incredible speed, able to fly at sixty and eighty and one hundred miles an hour. They can do rolls and loops like an airplane doing tricks. Their wingspan extends to nearly eighty feet.

But eagles do not fly like sparrows or robins. Most birds fly through the air by flapping their wings, but eagles cannot flap very long. They’re built for soaring, and thus they can go much further on little energy.

God created our planet with invincible columns of hot air called thermals rising up here and there from the surface of the earth. Eagles find these thermals, fly into the invincible currents, stretch out their wings, and are lifted higher and higher into the sky as though ascending on an elevator. They may rise as high as fourteen thousand feet, so high in the heavens they cannot be seen with the naked eye from earth.

When they reach those heights, they emerge from the updraft, wings still spread, and they soar this way and that way, downwards and sidewards, traveling for miles with very little exertion of strength.

Prophet Isaiah seems to be telling us that God is invincible, but like the invincible uplifting thermal currents of this planet, He is present for His people. When we search Him out, claim His promises and trust in Him, spreading out the wings of faith, we are caught up to a higher plane. We mount up with wings like eagles. We can run and not grow weary. We can walk and not faint.

The strength we need for holy, effective, victorious living comes not from frantically flapping our wings like sparrows in distress, but from trusting in God and resting in Jesus Christ*.

*Quote from Robert J. Morgan, Preacher’s Sourcebook of Creative Sermon Illustrations
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., 2007), 714-715
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