Creativity of Language · Power Of Symbols

We Overcome As We Soar

Maybe the Biblical promise that when weary we will soar like eagles means more than we thought.

Eagles At Pymatuning Lake
Eagles At Pymatuning Lake

Eagles fly purposefully, with powerful, even strokes that thrust them into the air as they gain and then maintain momentum and altitude. They can fly for miles in search of food. We love to think of the “soaring” image when reading Isaiah 40:31 and its promise that they who wait on God will renew their strength and mount up on wings as eagles. We’re comforted to think of ourselves as “flying above” our troubles here on earth.

But let me offer another view. Outside of dropping to earth to catch prey, eagles spend most of their time in the treetops or the sky.  So “mounting up” doesn’t mean they soar above problems because they live their eagle lives high above already. Plus, more than once I’ve seen flying eagles attacked or at least harassed by smaller birds. The eagles seem to shrug them off, but nevertheless have not escaped trouble.

So if God tells us that we will mount up with wings as eagles, we aren’t soaring “above” our troubles. As eagles muscle their way in flight through their lofty world, we spiritually “muscle” our way through our own realm here on earth.

That speaks what we know to be true: God doesn’t give us strength to escape our problems, but like the flying eagles dealing with pesky sea gulls, to successfully live through and beyond them.