My husband, Ron, becomes preoccupied about this time each year with taking pictures of bald eagles. These amazing raptors migrate through the area where we live in order to feed on kokanee salmon spawning in Lake Coeur d’Alene. At times, I’ve hiked with Ron up to Higgins Point, a great vantage point to watch the eagles. While Ron focuses on good shots of the magnificent birds, I often find myself pondering the ways of the eagle.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
I like the way Eugene Peterson translates a familiar passage of Scripture in Isaiah 40:27-31 in The Message, a contemporary language translation of The Bible that often resonates and challenges my thinking in new ways.
Why would you ever complain,… saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts, for even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon GOD get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.”
During this busy time of the year, it’s easy for me to go overboard on holiday preparations, and sometimes I feel ‘plumb tuckered out,’ which is a phrase my grandma used to say.
Weariness happens at various phases in our life journeys.
- Youth get tired. Exploring what type of education and then getting that education is expensive and exhausting. Relationships and relational questions like, “Who will love me enough to want to spend a lifetime together?” can create emotionally draining anxiety. They may wonder, “Who am I going to be when I “grow up?”
- We grow a little older, finish at least the first layer of our education and say, “I do” to the one we believe will be a lifelong partner. We delight in the birth of each child—those amazing little products of our love. In spite of the joy, it’s easy to become weary with the enormity of responsibilities related to making a living and raising a family. Challenges relate to careers, toxic work environments, more bills than budget, plus children, ourselves—or even spouses—who are trying to figure out how to “grow up.” Grueling! Tiring!
- Before we can figure out where the years went, we qualify for “senior” discounts. Weariness sets in as we deal with health challenges, aging parents, how we’re going to make ends meet on reduced or fixed retirement incomes. We wonder if we’ll be around to watch those amazing grandbabies “grow up” or may even wonder whether we ever really “grew up.”
Weariness has plagued me from time to time at each stage of life. As seasons have come and gone, friends, jobs, finances, kids and even dreams also have come and gone. Joints have worn out and been replaced. Loved ones have passed on. Even the magnificent eagles will migrate soon to a more plentiful feeding ground.
Everything around me changes, but Scripture reminds me God remains constant. I’m promised, God doesn’t come and go. God lasts! Ancient words—relevant today even as they were when the prophet penned them thousands of years ago—invite me to “wait on Him,” assuring me that when I do, I’ll find renewed strength and energy.
Imagine—even soaring like those eagles Ron photographs each year!
Dear God, Today, I thank you for the gift of renewed strength. Thank you for never changing, for always being available when ‘m weary, for never leaving me—even when it feels like I’m not keeping up with life.
Both eagle photos courtesy of my favorite guy and hubby, Ron
Listening on YOUR Journey
- What causes you to grow weary at this stage of your life journey?
- What would help renew your strength?
- How can you “wait upon the Lord,” allowing a Divine dose of strength to keep you from ‘dropping out’ or ‘lagging behind?’
Wishing you strength for the journey…..