Sunday, September 7, 2008

soar on wings

Last month I visited my mother in Northern California. One afternoon I was sitting alone on her deck enjoying the wonderful warmth and dry heat of August. I noticed a hawk soaring high above the ground. Since my mom’s house is high on the side of a hill, I was actually watching it from above. Effortlessly riding the thermal heat waves, the hawk crisscrossed, occasionally turning into a sight breeze to soar even higher.

As I watched I thought how enjoyable it would be to soar like that. I also thought of the passage in Isaiah:

He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
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 40:29-31 (ESV)

The eagle and the hawk do not soar out of their own strength. Their large wing spans allow them to soar, but it is not due to the strength of the wings. The power to soar for hours comes from outside themselves, from the thermals and the breeze.

As believers, maybe we need to learn to ride the thermals and winds of the Spirit. We can do nothing without Him, for if we do things in our own strength eventually we will wear down. We will burn out. We will fail.

I don’t know about you, but I have wasted a lot of time working in my own strength. I mistakenly thought this was what it meant to be diligent. It didn’t accomplish much. It didn’t really work. The hawk I saw weeks ago was diligent but didn’t rely on its own strength at all. Relying on power outside itself and not on its own efforts, it was able to soar for hours.

Maybe diligence means relying on the Spirit rather than our strength, rather than working up our own passion and enthusiasm? Maybe diligence means to rest in His strength, to abide in Christ?

Be blessed.
RB

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