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“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 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 40:28-31)
This painting came from a dream that the Lord gave me. The night before I had it I had been earnestly praying that the Lord would show me the way out of some things that were continually stumbling me and wearing me down in my Christian life.
I was going about my life on earth, and I was getting tense, irritable and restless. The feeling was similar to the “itchiness” someone who has been cooped up inside all day feels, like cabin fever. It was a windy, nasty day, and the rain came in from the side and pelted me. As my tension grew, I longed more and more to break out of my surroundings. Compelled to be free, I said good-bye to my close Christian friend I was walking with and took off. All of a sudden I had two wings like an eagle. Like a race horse released from the starting gate I took off into the air. I was glad to get away, and I didn’t look back.
At first I felt a bit battered by the elements. The rain pummelled me, and the wind gusts fought against me as I flew into the sky. My feathers were drenched, and it made me heavy and inagile. It was hard going at first because I felt a lot of drag pulling me down. After a little while I began to fly into the cloud, and my sight was completely obscured. I felt both battered and blinded. Then all of a sudden I emerged through the top of the clouds, just like you do when you fly in a plane.
The air was gloriously clean and crisp up there, and the sun shone brilliantly on the ocean waters below. Strong air currents came from underneath and met me, carrying me higher. No longer did I expend all my energy flapping my wings. I simply outstretched them and found myself soaring effortlessly. It was such a glorious feeling to have air current after air current come and carry me higher and higher without any effort on my part!
The higher I went, the faster I flew and the stronger, more skilled and more agile I became. I raced through the sky faster and faster. The more confident I became the further I stretched out my wings to catch the air currents. Emboldened, I gambled on stretching my wings further than I thought I could (beyond what felt ‘safe’ to me)–nearly out of my sockets. When I did, a gust of wind came instantly to carry my higher. I found that every single time I stretched out my wings an air current would also faithfully come to meet me.
Furthermore, to whatever degree I stretched out my wings an air current of an even greater degree would come. I soon learned I could always trust in the wind to come, so it greatly emboldened me to spread out my wings further and further in faith (beyond each new level of what previously felt ‘safe’ to me) because I knew the wind would always carry me higher. I also realized I had been designed to soar like this. I was not going to be torn apart by the winds; I was built to soar masterfully upon them.
Each new air current beckoned me to fly higher and faster and stronger. I would have flown right into space if I could have! However, after I had flown to an astounding height, I began to feel an obligation to return to my earthly life. Pretty soon I began my descent. (I have always wondered what would have happened had I ignored that nagging feeling and flown higher instead of returning to earth).
When I got back to earth, I was completely refreshed, restrengthened and revitalized! I felt strong, sleek and agile, like a victorious sprinter who had just torn through the finish line. As I looked up, I noticed that the rainclouds were breaking up and being blown away by strong winds. The rain had stopped, and the sky was getting lighter. Good weather was on its way.
I tried to tell all my Christian friends about how glorious it was up there and what they were all missing. Though some responded with moderate joy for me, none of them could comprehend what they were missing! I tried to convince them to come up there with me, but because they had no understanding of how glorious it actually was, most continued contently with their daily life routine. In the end, I had only sparked the attention of a few people.
When I woke up, I immediately thought of the verses in Isaiah 40:28-31 (above). I knew this dream was from God and was about these verses. He was answering the prayer I had so earnestly prayed the night before! He was showing me that to overcome the thing that was continually stumbling me and wearing me down, I needed to go and spend time alone with him in his presence.
Only as I spend time waiting in his presence will my strength be renewed. This is the life believers in Christ are meant to live. Eagles were created for soaring high in the sky; it is their inherent nature. Likewise, Christians are meant to live in the presence of God. When we are soaring with him, we are in our natural abode.
Upon further study, I found it interesting that in the original language of the Bible, the word for “wind” is the same word as “breath” and “spirit”. Soaring in the Spirit of God is effortless. The Holy Spirit is the one who carries us higher and closer to God, who renews our strength as we wait on him. I also thought about how every time I spread my wings, an even stronger air current was always there to meet me. I thought of God’s faithfulness to always meet us when we seek him. I was also reminded of Jesus’ words, “‘Consider carefully what you hear [the Word of God],’ he continued. ‘With the measure you use it will be measured to you–and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.'” (Mark 4:24-25).
These verses in the Amplified version of the Bible, which expounds the original Hebrew and Greek language, really touched my heart. Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.”(See “It’s Time To Fly, Church” (John the Baptist Artworks Series) and “Tasmanian Wedge Tailed Eagle (Endangered) Soaring at Mt. Field National Park, Tasmania, Australia” (Tasmanian Wilderness Landscape Photography Series).)