15 July 2015

Those who wait upon the Lord

Last night's meditation brought, not sleep, but Isaiah 40:31:
"But those who wait on the LordShall renew their strength;They shall mount up with wings like eagles,They shall run and not be weary,They shall walk and not faint."
Then it brought understanding. 
. . . those who wait on the Lord 
That's not just waiting, passively. That's "waiting on", as a servant waits upon his master, or a waitress or waiter waits tables. It is active. And in that activity lies tremendous power. 
. . . shall renew their strength 
Waiting on the Lord, hearing and doing His word, His will, brings an inflow, a flooding, of life to our souls. He becomes, within us, a fountain of living water, springing up continuously unto life eternal.
They shall mount up with wings like eagles.
Why not "with wings like sparrows", or "like hawks", or "like falcons", or any other fowl of the sky? What makes eagles different? Or, more specifically, what makes eagle's wings different?

When presented with an approaching storm, eagles do exactly the opposite of all other birds. While other flighted creatures seek shelter, the eagle flies into the very teeth of the gale, and the mighty wind lifts the eagle higher and higher, far higher than it could ever fly alone. The storm winds strengthen the eagle's wings more than flying in calm weather ever could, and the storm's heights provide views simply not possible in other conditions. 
They shall run and not be weary;they shall walk and not faint. 
Vern is an ultra runner. Ultra Marathons are anything longer than a marathon, and often extend over crazy and amazing mountainous terrain. These races commonly go between 50 km and 100 miles. Some of the latest ones are even more, 150 miles or even 200. Runners in these races don't sprint--they use a combination of power hiking and running. (Unless you're a super-incredible elite ultra runner like Max King. Then you hold a six-minute pace for fifty miles. No joke.) Add to the running/hiking combination the fact that ultra marathon performance has everything to do with what you let yourself think. (You can start at 2:00, if you want.) It's the nicest people who usually do the best in these races.  Believers aren't thick on the ground in ultra running . . . but those who carry love in their hearts show a distinct advantage over all others. You just don't hear of mean ultra runners. Some of the early finishers in ultras will hang around at the finish line for many hours, until the last of the runners come in. Scott Jurek, one of the most most successful early ultra runners, did so religiously. Every race he won, he stayed at to cheer in every other runner, until the very last one appeared. His reason? When he started running cross country in high school, he was usually in last place, and he knew how much harder it is to run for so much longer than anyone else. I've met Scott, and he truly is one of the nicest and kindest souls around.

If you want to be renewed, if you want to mount up with strength, if you want to be unweary and unfainting, the path of Jesus Christ is the only way to go. Doing as He did, doing as He leads you from moment to moment, waiting on Him in all things.

Father God, thank You so much for Your Son. I can't even begin to tell You how much I love the both of You, how much Jesus means to me. I'm so glad you know my heart, that I can stand before You clothed in the robes of His righteousness and empowered by His grace, and be called higher, lifted up high by the storms that come and show me how strong You are in me, and give me perspective and knowledge that I simply couldn't otherwise have. Thank You for Your promises, for I KNOW they are sure! Thank You for Your Word, where I find the promises You've made, the covenants You extend to Your people and that are open to me if I will but walk in them. Thank You for the openness of the gate, where all can enter in if they so desire, and receive the full endowment of love and grace that begins their life anew. Thank You for healing, for love, for music, and for the unending forgiveness and love that I can receive from You . . . that I do receive from You . . . every morning, and every moment. Love You, God. In Jesus' name, amen.