Friday, July 17, 2015

Gaining Altitude

For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall. 
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind.
Isaiah 40:31 (the Message)

I still remember this as the text used by a local pastor at my "graduation" from the Weekday Religious Education program at Stuarts Draft Elementary back in 1951. As a seventh grader it made an indelible impression, not because I often felt emotionally exhausted or drained, but because of the beauty and power of the words. It has been one of my favorite Bible passages ever since.

As an adult I know very well what its like to experience stress to the point of feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes all we can see or think about is the elephant problem in the room.

One of the benefits of "waiting upon God" is getting outside the room, gaining a new perspective, seeing the bigger picture. This kind of prayer is not meant to give us a means of escape as much as to help us gain the elevation we need get a God's eye view of whatever is bothering us. 

When we see problems as a part of our larger and ongoing life story, they don't magically disappear, but more of the rest of our God-blessed life appears and we are able to see things in a different context. Through the eyes of faith we can better see what an experience may look like and feel like in the overall scheme of things, in the context of a month, a year or even a lifetime from now.

To me, that is a vital means of gaining strength, of being able to run without becoming weary, to walk without lagging behind or dropping out. 

Sometimes it's all about gaining some altitude.
View from Buffalo Mountain in Floyd County
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