but those who trust 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 faint. Isaiah 40:31
I have always loved this verse, even from childhood. Maybe it’s because my dad was a pilot in the Air Force. Although he retired long before I could enjoy any of the living overseas adventures, my brother and I grew up learning to fly and traveling by plane to most places because of my dad’s love of flying. There is something amazing about flying in the midst of big fluffy clusters of clouds in a small airplane. As a girl, I would press my face to the window of the airplane and imagine the angels sitting on the edges and cliffs of the clouds we whirled quickly through. I always felt close to God in the clouds. It would leave me awestruck.
Unlike the beginning of Isaiah, which is focused on judgment and tribulation, Chapter 40 begins with the word “comfort”. It’s the perfect transition into the final chapters of this prophetic book where we see a focus on how our Lord will be our comfort in times of suffering and trials. I point that out to illustrate why most of the verses we cling to for hope, like verse 31 (above), are found in the later chapters of Isaiah. There is a distinct transition in the book of Isaiah from chapters 1-39 to 40.
If we study Isaiah 40:31 closely, we see three levels within it. First, we see those who will soar or mount up. Second, those who will run and lastly, those who will walk. Interestingly, many scholars and commentators feel these three levels of movement represent the three main stages of Christian growth.
Young Christians will mount up and soar like eagles, adult Christians run, and mature Christians walk. Depending on what’s going on in your life right now, your energy level may vary. You may be coming out of valley or storm and experiencing such a deep gratitude that you are soaring like an eagle. Maybe you are in a valley and feel as if you are so weary you are aren’t even walking, you can only crawl. I’ve been there. Whether you are in the valley, coming out or going in, you can lean on God and trust that He will come alongside you. He will run or crawl at your pace and give you the strength, courage, and peace to keep moving forward. He will give you ALL you need. He will guide you, sustain you, comfort you and love you through every valley and storm.
People always say the storms will always come. My response to that is, “and so will GOD!” Amen!