The Weekly Word: Of oysters and eagles
By Tim Purcell, Superintendent of the Iowa/Minnesota District of the Wesleyan Church
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles… Isaiah 40:31 (Message Bible)
Consider the oyster. No problems. No worries. And most of all, no stress.
The oyster is blessed with absolute economic and social security. It never requires a home; its home rests on its back. It can easily defend itself from enemies; it simply closes its shell and waits. It doesn’t have to work and toil for its food; it just opens its shell and food rushes in.
What a life! Complete freedom from need and stress. At times that kind of life seems appealing. No work, no tough decisions, no sacrifice. Only one thing is required. Open and close the shell and everything will be provided.
But for a moment, consider the eagle instead. Survival is difficult, at best.
It has been given no home; it must build its own nest. Up high where its eggs are protected, the eagle nests where it is exposed to the wind, rain, hail and snow.
To eat it must fly, search and capture. To survive it must be strong and alert.
No easy life for the eagle! But under the stress and strain of its difficult life, it grows tough and resilient.
The Bible speaks of soaring on wings like eagles, not clamming up like oysters. Isaiah 40:31 says that “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.”
The eagle may have a tough life, but it’s better for it.
Our lives may be tough, too, maybe even tougher than the eagle’s. No eagle ever had to worry about balancing a budget, raising children in a morally declining society or holding a marriage together.
Sure, life can be tough, but God can renew our strength and enable us to “soar” in spite of our circumstances. But as the verse indicates, the promise is for those who actively hope in the Lord, not those who “clam up” like oysters.
You can’t close your life to the power of God and still expect to soar.
When facing life’s tough moments, don’t “clam up.” Instead, stay open to the renewing power of God.
As you are faithful in things like Bible reading, prayer and church attendance, you’ll find yourself “soaring” once again.