Runners have a saying for finding the energy they need to finish a race. They call it finding their “second wind.” There is supposedly a second wind or “runner’s high” that gives you a new burst of energy to finish your race. We all need more of that. Whether as a parent that has settled into the new school year that slogs by at the speed of a glacier, as an employee that hangs on by your fingernails between vacation days, or as a Christian whose Bible reading habits have gone the way of the dodo bird, you need something to renew your strength. The good news is that God has given us a promise that will do just that.
Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on 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.” (NKJV)
The word “wait” in the original language paints a word picture of the tension caused by twisting or stretching a rope. To wait on the Lord requires a patient faith. There is sometimes tension and stretching involved because God wants to renew you and make you stronger. Perhaps you feel the tension of a delayed answer to prayer. Maybe you feel like God isn’t answering your prayer at all. Maybe things have not turned out like you thought they would. You must exercise patient faith. Continue to trust God. Continue to believe His promises. When you feel the tension, and stretching of the moment, wait on the Lord.
Waiting requires you to rest, to be patient, to turn it over to God, to allow Him to do His work, and to wait passively. This is ultimately what faith requires. I must rest and wait on Him. I must trust that God sees more, knows more, and is more powerful than I am. God can do more in a moment than I can do in a lifetime.
Faith does not mean that I play no part in God’s plan. The act of renewing my strength means that I play an active role. “They shall renew their strength.” I must actively pursue waiting on the Lord. I must participate in His plan by fully trusting Him. I must take part in the renewal process.
Mounting up with wings like eagles gives us a mental image of soaring. We can soar above the problems, the things that drain us, the things that cause us stress. God can make us fly above these things. Some believe that molting is what the writer had in mind. Molting is a process in which the bird sheds its old, weak, and damaged feathers, and grows new feathers that are strong and agile. This is a beautiful picture of what God does when we trust him. He can take the tired, old, scarred, beat-up things in our lives and make them new. He gives power and strength. He rejuvenates. He brings new life to things that were dead. He gives endurance. He will give you your second wind.
We all need a second wind from time to time. We need new energy and new focus. Patiently waiting on the Lord will give you the strength you need to finish your race.