There is a wonderful promise in Isaiah 40 that I’m sure we’ve clung to with varying degrees of desperation at different times. It goes like this:

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.
(Is 40:31)

I’ve often watched huge wedge-tailed eagles riding thermal currents in the mountains. I’ve been filled with wonder (and not a little jealousy!) as they effortlessly glide for kilometres going up and down at leisure, borne along by powerful unseen airflows. It all happens with the tweaking of a wingtip here and a movement of the tail there, or an occasional slight shifting of the balance.

It seems so different to the way we go through life, with any progress seemingly being gained through a lot hard work, sweat and pain. The occasions when we feel like we’re soaring effortlessly like an eagle seem to be infrequent, in my experience. And yet the Lord encourages us to wait and hope for Him; live out our lives in dependence on Him.

Ultimately, he’s pointing us to that time when we will be in the new creation, when the weariness and fainting and stumbling will be over and we will see Jesus and be like him, free from the limitations of our sin and weakness. In the meantime we wait for the Lord, and trust in Him who “gives power to the faint” (v29). There can be no safer place to be.