Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. –Isaiah 40:28-30
From my earliest years I can remember hearing this verse in one form or another. I heard it preached in sermons, sung by choirs in church services, and taught by gracious, gray-haired ladies doing their best to encourage young souls in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. I most often only heard the first and last parts…the bits about how God is everlasting and doesn’t get tired and is stronger than anyone and then how we can fly. These parts gave me courage and hope. They helped me believe there was something or someone bigger than me who would always be there and never let me fall. When I was young I never once gave a thought to the part I had to play. I just wanted someone to hold on to me till my wings were strong enough to soar. It did not occur to me that wings only strengthen when they are used and learning to fly often begins with a fail, then a fall, and then a try again.
We all have a story to tell. We have all learned to crawl then walk then run and jump and sometimes fly. Flight doesn’t just happen, though; we do not just wake up one day, step out of the nest, and touch the sky. There are forces working against us trying to hold us down. Pain, struggle, fear of the unknown, and insecurity all tell us we’ll never be good enough and never succeed. But our struggle against this weight also strengthens us as we fight the hold it has on us. It is never easy and often comes with stumbles and falls, but the hope of freedom keeps us from giving up and forgiveness for wrongs done to us allows us to mount up, step out…and soar.
I have come to understand some difficult things that I never would have if there weren’t struggle and heartache. I’ve learned that the Lord’s whisper can be heard above the shouts of men. I’ve learned that He is more often seen in the nooks and crannies of life and not in the big productions. I’ve realized that though justice may be desired, mercy is required and the Holy Spirit never pushes but always pulls. Most importantly, I’ve learned that Jesus never leads you where He has not already been and prepared in advance for your benefit. I have put my worst memories in boxes, only having to unpack them again when I was better able to understand and work through them. My best memories have become strongholds that remind me of what is good and true. All of my memories have become markers and signposts along the way that define who I am. It is my hope that they can help and encourage someone else on their own journey. Perhaps they’ll stop awhile in these pages, find some truth they can apply to their lives, and then move on, sharing what they’ve learned…Thank you for reading and following…