Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but 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. – Isaiah 40:30-31
One summer I worked at a dude ranch washing dishes. It wasn’t a very glorious job, but I didn’t mind it. The repetition and immediate gratification of seeing dirty dishes made clean was somehow satisfying, and it was a nice resting place for a summer.
The best part about this job is that the chef would give me a long break between meals. On days when most of the guests were riding horses all day and not eating at the ranch, this meant that I’d have a break from after breakfast until staff dinner. All day to walk out of our small valley, and into the mountains.
On the west side of the valley, you’d cross a bridge over a freezing creek and head what felt like straight up on a barely visible path. The guests and horses typically weren’t out this way, and very quickly you’d feel secluded, surrounded by only the buzz of insects, and whooshing of wind in the grass and trees.
As I was enjoying this solitude one day, I was startled by a loud “SQQQUUUUAAA”. I looked up and there were two bald eagles circling high above me. I’d seen them from a distance, but never this close, and in all honesty, I felt a little scared. Their nest was in that area, and as I approached they became increasingly disturbed. As residents of this mountain for many years, they had prior claim, and I decided to be a good neighbor and quietly retreated.
I’ve always been fascinated by eagles, and seeing these mates for life protect their giant nest was a treat. The verse about “soaring on wings like eagles” came to mind, and as is so often the case, I felt God’s presence on that mountain as I imagined what it would be like to soar. You see, my adventure to this dude ranch was, in a way, me trying to escape from my life. But as we all know, “wherever you go, there you are.”As I headed back down to work I felt strangely peaceful yet exhilarated, knowing that even when my spirit felt tired, I could rest in God, and be renewed and spotless as the dishes I washed. He can make your sad and tired spirit soar like the eagles that circled their nest, high above my valley.
PRAYER: God, let me find solace in the way you provide for me. When I need rest, let me rest. When I need to renew my strength, give me the will to do so. Thank you for your love and protection over me.