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Thoughts from the Bible 02-01-17

Wait upon the Lord

Isaiah 40:31 has been one of my favorite passages of Scriptures for years: “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.”

I’ve used the passage in sermons even as a very young 20 year old preacher. It was several years after this that I learned the words of the song: “Teach Me Lord to Wait.” I especially love the phrase, “They shall mount up with wings like eagles.” This sounds so glorious!

Many times we ask, “Why has this happened to me?” “What is the purpose in this?” “Where is God leading me?” “When will the waiting be over?” This passage and the song taken from it remind us of the importance of patience and waiting on the Lord. When we are renewed with the strength that comes from running with the Lord, we can soar as on eagles’ wings.

The Bible often uses objects from nature to help us understand God’s love and care for man. Jesus spoke of the lilies of the field, and the birds of the air, the farmer sowing the seed, and the pearl of great price. He knew followers could identify with these objects and better understand his teaching. Isa. 40:31 also uses an object from nature to help us as we wait. Those who wait upon the Lord will soar on wings like eagles. That may not sound very exciting unless you know something about eagles.

I’ve read in several sources that an eagle in a storm is unlike other birds who head for cover. The eagle can sense the coming of a storm long before it breaks. It will fly to a high spot and wait for the winds. When the storm hits, the eagle sets its wings so the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages, and other birds seek comfort, the eagle soars above it. Literally the eagle is enabled by the storm to rise to new heights of glory. It soars effortlessly, letting the wind carry it where lesser birds cannot fly. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher.

Christians must face storms in our lives: sickness, tragedy, disappointment or failure. Our storms may force us into God’s waiting room. We must choose whether to seek cover and hide through these storms like the lesser birds or be like the eagle, and allow our storms to take us to greater heights in the Lord. We need to learn that like an eagle “We were created to soar.”

The story is told of an Indian brave who found an egg that had been laid by an eagle. He couldn’t return it to the nest, so he did the next best thing. He put it in the nest of a prairie chicken. The hen sat on the eagle’s egg thinking it was one of her own. Eventually the eaglet hatched along with the prairie chickens. All his life, the eagle, thinking he was a prairie chicken, did what they did. He scratched the dirt for seeds and insects to eat. He clucked and cackled. He flew in brief thrashing of wings and flurry of feathers and only for a few feet off the ground.

Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day, he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky and hanging with graceful majesty on the powerful wind currents. “What a beautiful bird,” said the eagle to his neighbor. “What is it?” “That’s an eagle, the chief of the birds,” the neighbor clucked to him. “But don’t give it a second thought.” He died thinking he was a prairie chicken. The eagle never became what he was created to be because he listened to the world. The question for our consideration is: “Will you stay a prairie chicken, or become the magnificent soaring eagle God created you to be?”

 


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