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 40:28-31
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. 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 made me feel like there was something or someone bigger than me who would always be there and never let me fall. As a kid I did not even think beyond the opening lines of the passage. Did not consider the ideas of weariness or weakness or stumbling and falling. I never once gave a thought to why I might need a big great powerful Father or the part I had to play. My dad died when I was 12 and before that he was a workaholic and disengaged from his children…I never really knew the man as a father, just a rule maker and judge. I longed for someone to hold on to me till my wings were strong enough to soar; to fly with me and teach me the ways of the wind. It did not occur to me that my wings would only strengthen if I used them and learning to fly often begins with a fail then a fall and a get up and try again because there is not always someone there to pick you up. At 13 if found that Father I had longed for…or more precisely, he found me, and I began to understand that falling did not mean failing and salvation is found in surrender.
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, spread our wings and touch the sky. There are forces working against us trying to hold us down. Pain, struggle, fear of the unknown, unforgiveness, and insecurity all tell us we will never be good enough and never succeed…at anything. They try to convince us that we will never beat that giant or scale that mountain or conquer that bully. We will not win…you will never fly. To be honest…they are right. I will never overcome all the obstacles against me; I will never stand alone on the heap of slain adversaries as king of any mountain – But I am a child of the one who does. I am the apple of his eye and if I remain by his side, I can stand with him on a mountain of victories!
Living life is never easy…for anyone…and it often comes with spits and fizzles, starts then stumbles and falls. But we have the strong arms of a loving father wrapped around us. We will learn to let go of the pain and hurt, shed the doubt and insecurity, spread out one wing then the other in the slipstream of his love…and soar!