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Soar above the storm

By Phillip Hines 

Isaiah 40:31 is a passage we have read and heard many times. Songs have been written about this verse. Isaiah said, “But those who wait on 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.  

These words have given us comfort, hope, and strength in difficult times.  

To really appreciate this verse, one must understand the context of the passage.  

Isaiah knew the Israelites were about to face the most difficult, trying and faithtesting time in their entire existence. At that time, there was no one who was more discouraged and disappointed than Isaiah. God had said to the prophet in Isaiah 39:6, “Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left.  

The city of Jerusalem would be destroyed. The Jews were going into exile. The temple was about to face doom by the hands of the Babylonians. The Promised Land would become desolate.  

Why? Israel had turned its back on God and had become disobedient to the will of God. 

It is out of this darkness that God shines a ray of light for Isaiah. God wanted the old prophet to know what to do when life was unbearable and the storms got too strong.  

He said, Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.”  

The word wait does not mean to sit in a hypnotic trance in the corner of the room until God moves. This word has two meanings.  

One is that we spend time alone with God and do not panic. The second is that, while we are waiting on the Lord, we keep obeying and serving Him.  

It means that we are going to do whatever we can for the Lord, while we wait until the Lord does something for us. 

What is the result of waiting on the Lord?  

We will mount up with wings like eagles.”  

You might wonder why God used the example of an eagle in this text.  

Eagles are amazing birds. They are able to fly at an altitude of up to 10,000 feet! Eagles fly an average of 50 miles an hour; however, they sometimes notch speeds as fast as 100 miles an hour. They can see seven times better than we can. Amazingly, they will often fly directly into a storm and not away from it. They know that the updrafts in a storm can help them soar higher and have a better view.  

The storm is no threat to the eagle because he flies above the storm! 

God wants us to let Him be in the middle of our storm. He wants us to fly with Him.  

When we do, we will see the storm from God’s perspective. We will see that the storms do not control God, but God controls the storms.  

It is then that we can soar above the storm, and we no longer need to fear!