Author: Tom Smith (Utah, USA)
In today’s reading, I expect Isaiah to put the verbs in the order of walk, run, soar – to end his poem on a high point. However, Isaiah starts with soaring eagles and ends with the feebler verb, walk. Why does Isaiah start with the grand and end with the ordinary?
As I think about how I face challenges in my life, however, I take comfort in this reversed order. When I return from a spiritual retreat, I feel as if I can take on the world. I can meet challenges head-on and win. I am soaring like an eagle! Inevitably, though, life beats me down. I stop soaring, but I am still running. As I run, more obstacles slow my pace, and I am soon down to a walk. What does Isaiah mean by, ‘they will walk and not be faint’? I think he means plodding along, taking challenges in my stride and facing the painful, the fatiguing and the boring without giving up.
Life is not always about soaring. Often, it’s simply finding the strength to put one foot in front of the other when we’d rather not. We can look again at Isaiah’s ‘backward’ sentence and take comfort!
Prayer: Faithful God, help us to watch for others who need our encouragement. Amen