Reflection in the Week Before Advent 2020

The Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 40.28-31

“28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those 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.”

What’s in our Package when We really Trust the Lord?

When we come to the point of really believing in Jesus, it’s like He sets an eagle in our heart. Our spirits are lifted. Something soars within in us, climbing on the thermals of God’s tangible love for us. We are able to rise up with new vision.

The Eagle who Thought he was a Chicken

Some will remember the story of the farmer who found a strange egg, brought it home and set it under a hen. When it hatched it wasn’t a chick but an eaglet. It mixed with the chicks, and did what the chicks did, pecking, scratching and occasionally a brief flutter. One day, from its place in the farmyard, the eaglet looked up to see huge birds gliding and soaring high in the sky above. One of the chickens said, “They are eagles. We are chickens; we just amble in the farmyard, peck, scratch and sometimes flutter.” So, the eagle looked back to the ground and got on with being a chicken.

The lesson: we are easily convinced that we too are rooted to the farmyard. We are not special……. But know this: the Lord made you to soar like an eagle.

Isaiah: from Failure to Friend of the LORD

Back in chapter 6 of the Book of Isaiah, the land of Judah is in precariousness times. Isaiah humbled himself before God, he could only see himself as an imperfect failure. Then in desperation he cries out “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man!” (Isaiah 6.5) It was then the LORD touched him.

When he comes to write the words in Isaiah 40, our reading, they are not speculative theology, or an expression of some suppressed longing, they are a testimony to what the LORD did after that desperate cry. Isaiah has begun to fly!

Isaiah: Prophet and Pastor

Although we speak of Isaiah as a prophet, we can feel the “pastor” Isaiah in this beautiful 40th chapter. With God’s help he is shepherding the people through a dark time. Isaiah has come to know that we humans are frail and vulnerable. We run out of strength; we run out of endurance; even our hope seems to sap away. At the same time Isaiah shows God to be the perfect supplier. Even though He is beyond our comprehension, He is the loving Creator who longs to bring blessing into our lives.

Isaiah’s Own Experience of the Eagle Inside

Isaiah asks us to think of the worn out and frail, the despairing and the strengthless. Those who have given up the days of energetic believing! The LORD can turn their lives upside down. He can revive them; He can give them spiritual stamina; new legs, times of refreshing and renewal; God can give us wings and set the eagle free!……. How?

Isaiah see himself as a dependent creature, created to rely upon the LORD. It is not a weakness of the eagle that he is so dependent upon the power of air. This dependence is his greatest strength. We fly when we are totally dependent on Jesus…..

“1 Lord I come to You
Let my heart be changed, renewed
Flowing from the grace
That I have found in You
And Lord I have come to know
The weaknesses I see in me
Will be stripped away
By the power of Your love.

“2 Lord unveil my eyes
Let me see You face to face
The knowledge of Your love
As You live in me
And Lord renew my mind
As Your will unfolds in my life
In living every day
By the power of Your love.

“3. Refrain: Hold me close, let Your love surround me
Bring me near, draw me to Your side
And as I wait I will rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You, Your Spirit leads me on
In the power of Your love.”