April 22, 2012

Renewed Strength

We lived in Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula where we saw hundreds of eagles sitting in the treetops or soaring over the inlet. Though rarer here in Alberta, I still become excited when an eagle flies above, reminding me of our too-short time living in the north.
Eagles also remind me of several wonderful promises from God. This one from today’s devotional reading is particularly timely too. We had a very busy day yesterday with much to do and think about. Those kept us from a full night’s sleep and I woke up tired. However, some of that fatigue lifted when I read this.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for 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. (Isaiah 40:30–31)
Often God renews and sustains His people. In their Old Testament journey through the wilderness, He gave the Israelites a visible example of His power to do that. After that journey was over, Moses said to them, “I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet” (Deuteronomy 29:5). 

As He did with their clothing, He did with Elijah’s body. This prophet particularly demonstrated the power of God at one point in his life when he fled from Jezebel. He ran from Mount Carmel to Beersheba, about ninety miles on a map, then went a day’s journey into the wilderness. By this time, he was discouraged and likely exhausted. He asked God to take his life, but God sent an angel instead.
And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God. (1 Kings 19:5–8)
Some calculate that Elijah’s second journey was more than 400 miles. It appears that he did it without food. This shows how God can give renewed strength to His people.

There is no comparison between that accomplishment and the schedule God puts before me today. The only similarity is that I also need His strength. He isn’t asking the impossible, only to do what needs to be done, tired or not. Rather than plug my way through, I can wait on Him, bringing my weariness and trusting Him to give me His strength.

Lord, You never get tired. Your power is unlimited and You promise to make it available to those who need strength to do Your will. I don’t need to soar like an eagle, but do ask for Your grace and renewed strength to do what You have given me to do this day. Thank You.  

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