“But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV).
The dream of flight has inspired humans throughout recorded history. From the mythical winged horse of the Greeks, to da Vinci’s drawings of flying machines, to the early pioneering efforts of the Wright brothers, both imagination and hard work were invested in that dream.
As I flew from Huntsville, Alabama through Chicago and Abu Dhabi to Dhaka, Bangladesh, I could not help but reflect upon how blessed we are in this generation to reap the results of all of those dreams and efforts. In little more than one full day I covered half the diameter of the earth, a trip that would have taken weeks or months by earlier methods of transportation. Today we literally can “mount up with wings like eagles” just as the Old Testament prophet predicted.
Of course, Isaiah was not foretelling airplanes or commercial flights. Rather he was speaking of the result of faith in God. It was those who waited upon the Lord – i.e., those who attended his word and will – who would be elevated to the skies. God’s people who trusted him would not only soar, but also walk and run extensively without fatigue.
Long before the Wright brothers or Boeing Aircraft, God had given his people the ability to soar. They are elevated above the trivial concerns of this world (Matthew 6:33), above the puny goals of materialistic greed (Colossians 3:1-2), and above the fears of violence, disease or death (Matthew 10:28; Philippians 1:21).
Once in Christ, we are no longer earthbound. This is a truly enormous concept. With our feet on firm ground, we find ourselves limited in many ways. We see only to the horizon, or the nearest obstruction. We travel only so far as our time or endurance will take us. If we travel on foot, it is measured by miles or tens of miles; if by car or train, we think of hundreds of miles at a time. Our goals and our experiences reflect the relatively short reach of our abilities.
But when one takes to the air, those things change tremendously. Vision extends exponentially, distances traveled become enormous. Those who soar have far greater potential than those limited to the ground.
The spiritual implications of this thought are obvious. When we trust only in our own abilities, or in those created things and forces that we can observe, we are limited just as the one who travels by foot or car is limited.
But when we are lifted by the Spirit of Christ, all limitations are removed. The apostle stated it plainly: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). He knows no limits. “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
Isaiah proclaimed it beautifully. Let us wait upon the Lord, so that we, too, may soar like eagles.