What should the following sentence mean to you, a tired, overworked person?
“They shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
First, realize that God specializes in people like you. The pages of the Bible are chock full of stories about people who were, in themselves, at the bottom of the pile as far as personal strength was concerned. God is honored in showing strength through weakness.
Moses was such a man. At first, he was an eloquent young leader in Egypt, but when he escaped as a fugitive from the Pharoah to Midian, he became a lowly shepherd. He smelled sheep dung for 40 years in the desert, listening to little but himself. That is, listening to little until God spoke to him. Now 80 years old, with his treads worn thin and his face bronzed and dry from decades of harsh sunlight, he is commissioned by God to do the task of 20 men. He mounted up like an eagle for the task, and God made him the greatest leader of the Old Testament. Though reluctant because he did not speak Hebrew well, he was willing to do God’s bidding, even if it seemed impossible. God made him weak that he might become strong.
But let’s read the whole passage:
They that wait upon 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)
Now we read of a condition necessary to unwearied service for God—waiting on God. What could that mean?
Most would say that waiting on God means that the believer should slow down and not rush ahead of God. And this waiting might last for what seems like an eternity.
But that is only part of the word’s meaning. It’s more like “hope in” or “trust in.” A person may wait in a certain way, and not trust at all. In fact, wait is what you must do, whether you wish to or not, but trust is what you should do. It means to look to God for the solution to life’s issues. It’s about patiently waiting, but doing so in hope. God responds well to people like that . . . He gives them strength.
This renewal takes place first in the heart. God gives strength to those who want to wait on Him. But he refuses to come to the aid of those who actually have no heart for depending on Him and who will anticipate His resolve all through the long delay. With God, the heart is always first.
When Malachi wrote of the priests of his day, he described them as tired, begrudging servants of God. When they offered the sacrifices, they “disdainfully sniffed,” a signal of boring, unmotivated service to God. And God despised them. They didn’t anticipate God’s involvement in their service to Him. They had long ago stopped hoping in God.
Tell me, should God be happy with such service to Him? Serve Him first with the heart fully looking to Him, and He will energize the body. Start with the affections and your body will “mount up like the eagle.”
Years ago a product called Geritol was advertised on the black and white television screens of the United States. Geritol was a product for “iron poor, tired blood.” Believe me, you could see the tiredness in the gaunt actress who needed the product. But then she took a swig. Immediately her eyes brightened and her smile came back as the “iron poor, tired blood” was rejuvenated. A warm confidence in God will energize the body like that. It will “renew your strength.”
So, be encouraged. The task is not too daunting for those who want to serve Him. Your wings are not clipped as you thought, your legs are not putty—you can do His will if only you want to. Watch for His signals eagerly. Wait on Him as if it were all that is important in life. Let God do the rest.
Copyright © 2014 Jim Elliff.
Permission granted for reproduction in exact form.