Soaring Like an Eagle
Reading: Isaiah 40: 28-31
After my husband Ericlee died from cancer in 2014, I wasn’t sure if I could ever run again. He was my coach, my running partner, and my biggest cheerleader for almost a dozen years. He trained me for my first half marathon and first marathon. He logged hundreds of miles pushing our daughters in the jogging stroller and pushing me to personal records.
I still remember that first week following his funeral when I ventured out to the track for a workout with friends. I laced up my running shoes. Sweat beaded on my brows. My thirty-seven-year-old body quivered as I tried to take a deep breath. It might have been the hair-dryer-in-your-face heat of that September evening in central California. Or it might have been the heaviness of the grief that felt like a dozen bricks pressing on my chest.
Sometimes finding the courage to begin again is the hardest part.
I toed the line and took that first step. I ran once around the oval—four hundred meters—a distance my body and brain are accustomed to after more than three decades of running.
And then I began to hear it. Ericlee’s coaching voice seemed to boom from heaven. He was telling me to lift my knees, to steady my breathing, to square my shoulders, and run. My eyes, body, and heart were lifted from grief to hope.
The prophet Isaiah says, “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 40:31). These words remind us that we are called to place our hope in Him. We cannot trust in our own sense of control, courage, and purpose. He is the One who can help us walk and run again after crippling life circumstances.
Isaiah uses the metaphor of soaring on wings like eagles in this passage. Eagles have a unique flying style. They don’t waste a lot of time flapping their wings. Instead, they wait and wait and wait for that just-right wind—the wind that will take them higher and farther and longer. When that wind finally comes, they spread their wings and soar, and that wind takes them hundreds of feet above earth.
Another translation of Isaiah 40 reminds us, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength” (esv). The emphasis here is on the word wait. We must wait patiently and expectantly for the Holy Spirit to provide that “second wind” for us. This is all part of the soaring process. Waiting is not wasting time. In the waiting, God renews our strength. We must wait with hope and trust God for the future.
FAITH STEP: What are you waiting for today? Write out a prayer or pray this one: Dear God, today I surrender these things to you. I am trusting you as I wait and watch expectantly like the eagle for that just-right wind. Show me the next right step. Amen.