Like a bolt of lightning, it nearly stopped me in my tracks. Then in a matter of seconds it was gone, and I was left with a white-knuckled grip on my steering wheel, struggling to gather my wits and finish my drive to work. Work. That’s where I was headed and that’s what consumed my thoughts until the hawk swooped earthward across the highway in front of me.
I swerved to miss the massive bird as it crossed my path and plunged its talons into a rodent in the weeds along the roadside. My thoughts no longer splintered among the myriad of overdue projects on my desk. All I could think of was the powerful force of the hawk as it soared above the treetops with the same ease it had made its earthward dive.
I watched it soar. I longed to soar with it. I ached for the freedom it must have felt, gliding effortlessly across the early morning sky. I wasn’t soaring. Just like that rat that had been snatched up in a split-second; I could no more see an escape than it did. I wanted to be plucked out of the weeds. I wanted to soar.
Words of advice from so many well-meaning friends rang in my ears.
“You’ve got to pull yourself up and not let it get you down”
“Just do what you can and the rest will wait.”
“You have to rise above this. Don’t let it get the best of you.”
The truth is, it had gotten me down and left me with no energy to get back up. The rest of the work wasn’t waiting; it was being shoveled at me with increasing urgency. The weeds were too tall; I couldn’t rise above.
But that hawk; nothing was holding it down.
As my heart rate slowed and normal breathing resumed, one constant began to settle into my still-swirling thoughts.
“They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary…” How could that happen with me? I needed to know what preceded that verse. I needed to know what the conditions were that Isaiah had laid out in order to soar. My arms aren’t wings and they are flat out too tired to try to flap.
The minute I got to my desk I pulled up my favorite search engine and typed in the words “soar”, “wings”, and “eagle”. I skimmed through the other verses containing those same words and my eyes settled on the verse I was looking for.
… 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 40:31)
There it was, the condition for those who would soar. That promise was given to those who hope in the Lord. Not for those whose hope was in an extension on a deadline or the cancellation of a meeting. I glanced at the other verses that contained my search words and my eyes rested on one that gave me even more encouragement.
“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)
I don’t have to fly myself out of the weeds. I’m lifted up and carried out on the wings of the Father.
With a power and speed far beyond what I saw from that hawk, the very hand of God will reach down and lift me out of the weeds. He positions me where He wants me so I can be carried on wings and brought straight to His throne. The very thought of it took my breath all over again.
I don’t have to stay in the weeds.
I can soar. On wings like eagles.