Those of us who believe in Jesus are on a faith journey.
Sometimes we fly.
He carries us on eagles’ wings.
One example from scripture is God’s deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. He said, “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4).
The Israelites had done nothing to secure their release from Pharaoh. God caused the plagues, God opened the Red Sea for the Israelites’ escape, and God destroyed the Egyptian army.
Moses and his sister, Miriam, sang a song to the Lord, to celebrate their deliverance.
“Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you–majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11).
Has your heart soared on the euphoria of an awesome and glorious miracle?
We have. A number of times. One day Donna called to announce she wanted to buy us a car. Arrangements were made with a dealership; all we had to do was go and pick one out.
“Oh–and get leather seats,” she insisted. “They’re so much more comfortable.”
Can you imagine? What an incredible blessing! Our hearts soared for weeks on that miracle. Even now, more than thirteen years later, that car is a constant reminder of God’s supernatural provision. (Yes, it’s still running smoothly!) Through Donna, God proved unequivocally his love and power.
Sometimes we soar; sometimes we run—on supernatural strength.
We feel the supernatural power of the Spirit coursing through our veins, providing strength and passion for the task at hand. It is a spontaneous sprint, energized by omnipotent God.
New Christians are often empowered for a running start in their burgeoning faith. Eagerly they soak up Bible knowledge in small groups and personal Bible study.
In other cases, God places a special call on someone’s life to fulfill a need. And with the call comes supernatural strength to meet the challenge.
That’s what happened to J.B. God infused him with a passion to upgrade the sound system of our church. Night after night, he worked at rewiring the sanctuary. Much of that time was spent climbing about in the rafters. This after working each day at his business.
When I asked J.B. about exhausting himself, he assured me he was having fun! He didn’t feel worn out at all. God was giving him the strength to complete the project.
Yes, it’s exhilarating to fly on eagles’ wings of miracles and run on supernatural strength. But…
…most of the time on our faith journey, we walk.
Step by step. Choice by choice. Slowly approaching the destination—the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6). Sometimes the path is uphill and rocky. We strain with effort to make progress. Some days the path is winding, and we cannot see ahead.
Yet in spite of struggle and uncertainty, the walk can still bring much pleasure to the heart. “Blessed are those…who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord” (Psalm 89:15). You see, we do not walk alone. The Company we keep makes all the difference.
Walking in faith involves plenty of ordinary tasks and days without miracles. Children to care for. Laundry to do. Meals to cook. Calls to make. Students to teach. Sales to close.
But! Whatever needs to be accomplished, we can walk through it and not collapse under the repetition and frustration. How? By inviting God to walk with us.
Years ago, when our three children were young, my life was a routine of laundry, cleaning, cooking, errands, and child care. I was not one of those mothers who derived great fulfillment from these tasks. Instead of walking joyfully through each day, I often plodded.
Then I came across Colossians 3:23-24. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
In the margin of my Bible, next to those verses, I wrote, “including housework!” I wanted Who I served to be more important than what I was doing. Plodding didn’t end once and for all, but I learned to walk at a believer’s pace more frequently, as I invited God to cook, clean, and launder with me!
Those verbs–soar, run, and walk–are found in Isaiah 40:31, in that order:
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Perhaps soaring is first because the euphoric wonder of flying on eagle’s wings seizes our attention with intensity.
Running is second. Adrenalin runs high during spurts of divinely inspired growth and service.
And walking is last. Did God save the most important until the end? Because it’s in the persevering that we become strong. It’s in the trusting that our faith grows deep. And it’s in practicing his presence that we learn consistency of character.
So revel in occasional soaring. Rejoice in periodic running. But take deep satisfaction in the day-by-day walk on the paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3).
“Come…let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5)!
(photo credits: www.betterphoto.com; http://www.linksterdiversions.blogspot.com; http://www.BlackburnNews.com; http://www.foxnews.com; http://www.photobucket.som/user/jamiesolome/media.com; http://www.faithgateway.com; http://www.pinterest.com)
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