30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for 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 40:30-31, English Standard Version
The Philippine eagle is an endangered species and one of the largest in the world. The one I saw was being cared for in captivity, but I can only imagine what it must be like in its natural habitat, flying freely, strong and able to rise above the storms. The image of a soaring eagle is used in this popular verse in Isaiah 40, to describe how God renews those who wait on him.
People do not normally want to wait. Waiting usually feels like one is being tied down, hindered or delayed. In verse 31, the term wait comes from the Hebrew word qavah, which means to bind together as by twisting. Imagine plaiting together strands of cord to produce a rope. This brings an interesting perspective to our waiting. We are being told that as we wait, we are to entwine ourselves with God. We abide in him, even as he abides in us. Waiting is not a passive act, but one wherein we come together with the Lord.
It is also important to remember that it is the Lord whom we wait upon. We hope in the God who is good, who is for us, and who is able. As we wait on him, we bind ourselves to the divine source of inexhaustible strength, which renews us as we keep going.
In this verse, the prophet Isaiah was providing comfort to the people of Israel, who were longing for consolation and freedom. It was a long and difficult wait.
Our present-day journey is also full of delays and detours – some are minor inconveniences while others are difficult, life-altering challenges. What do we do when we find ourselves feeling lost, helpless, or unsure of what lies ahead?
The exhortation to us is the same. Wait on the Lord. Seek him, cling to the everlasting God who never grows weary and allow him to renew you. Waiting time is not wasted time. May this assurance liberate us as we wait and help us withstand the hardest circumstances, overcome the deepest disappointments, and soar above the fiercest storms. When we wait on the Lord, we are like eagles in flight.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being our comfort and our hope in the midst of life’s delays. By your grace may we trade our fears for your faithfulness; our tiredness and inadequacy for your sufficiency. As we receive your peace, may we also pass this on to others in their waiting time. In Jesus’ name, amen.
By Eugene Guzon