Thursday, January 29, 2009

Newspaper COlumn for February 2, 2009

It's Hard to Soar Like an Eagle...

When you find yourself totally exhausted.

[God]gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those 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)

How many people out there find themselves feeling faint? How many wonder how long their strength can last? How many times have you found yourself asking: “How long God? How long before things get better?”?

When times are good it is easy to feel refreshed. When things go well the little trips and stumbles are easily overcome. Our energy reserves refill sooner and it is easy to forget where we turn for strength. But when times are bad?

When times are tough and the going is hard where do we turn for strength? The same place we turn when times are good. And if that place is unable to cope with the hiccups of life then we find ourselves easily exhausted and in our exhaustion we can easily slide into hopelessness and despair.

I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

One of the great lies the world tells us as we grow up is that our source of strength needs to be within us. “Only you can pull yourself up” we are told. We have to be responsible for ourselves, we have to find it within us to deal with life's hardships and trial. After all, nobody else is going to do it for us.

Balderdash! Male cow droppings (this is a family paper after all)!

I think we all know that none of us by ourselves has the strength to deal with everything that life throws at us. This is not a failing, simply part of being human. If we try to handle everything from our own reserves we find out quickly that those reserves are a non-renewable energy source. It is like trying to drive from Halifax to Vancouver on one tank of gas. It just can't be done.

Thankfully we are blessed with a totally renewable, totally free, always available energy source. Speaking to people in exile, people who may well have given up, Isaiah reminds them that “they who wait on the Lord ... shall walk and not faint”. The Psalmist reminds us that our help comes from the Creating God. This is our energy source.

Times are not good for many today. If we try to cope with all the bad news by ourselves we can easily get exhausted in body, mind and spirit. But we don't have to do it by ourselves. We have God to give us strength. God likely can't flip a switch and make it all better but God is our source of hope. We can trust in God's strength to bear us up. We can indeed soar higher than the eagles, if God is the wind beneath our wings. Thanks be to God.


  1. Anonymous4/2/09 11:12

    Thanks, Gord! This Sunday, one of the congregations I serve in Thunder Bay is holding its Annual Congregation Meeting following the worship. Can I use your meditation, cited of course, for the worship? The council desires a short worship, and this would be a powerful part of it!
    Matthew Diegel

  2. Feel free MAtthew!

  3. I'd like permission to use the same sermon title. I'll write my own reflection but I love your title.

    Lisa in Fairfax, VA