Updraft: They Will Soar On Wings Like Eagles

Isaiah 40:28-31 NLT

28 Have you never heard?

    Have you never understood?

The LORD is the everlasting God,

    the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary.

    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

29 He gives power to the weak

    and strength to the powerless.

30 Even youths will become weak and tired,

    and young men will fall in exhaustion.

31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.

    They will soar high on wings like eagles.

They will run and not grow weary.

    They will walk and not faint.

This passage is infused with the riches of hope and inspiration. It has been the foundation of thousands of sermons and hundreds of songs. In different seasons of my life, certain phrases and promises stood out more than others. In this season, out of all the powerful imagery in this passage of Scripture, the one that has grasped my attention the most is the image of an eagle with its wings outstretched soaring on an updraft.

Among the crevices and cliffs of mountainous peaks, hot air rises. Those rising air pockets are often called thermals and it’s on these rising updrafts of warm air that the eagle seems most majestic. It’s here riding a thermal that eagles don’t strive to fly; they simply spread their expansive wings and coast. They rise altitude and soar effortlessly.

In this passage, Isaiah paints this vivid picture of a person or people, who have given all they can. They are physically, spiritually, and emotionally drained in every way, but in their desperation the Prophet gives a promise: If we put our trust in the Lord we will find a supernatural strength. It’s a strength that comes from outside us…beyond us…underneath us. The point: It’s not us. It’s not natural. It’s the supernatural updraft of divine grace.

Through this supernatural grace, we will run and not fatigue; we will walk the long distance faith requires and not faint. If we sell out and trust him completely, there is a supernatural supply of grace to move us from…struggling to surviving to soaring on divine provision.

There are moments in life when you’re exhausted underneath the burden of trials, circumstances, heartache, and delay. There are also times when we are wearied from the consequences of our own sin and stupid mistakes. Regardless of the cause of our weariness and exhaustion, the prophet promises the sufficiency of supernatural grace. It will rise beneath us and carry us if we can only trust Him enough to spread our wings.

So many of us have tried it on our own. We look more like a humming bird than an eagle. We flap our wings faster than the eye can see as if surviving this season is up to our efforts. We flap and flap and flap, but we still aren’t getting anywhere.  In Isaiah 40, God says I’m going to do something in your life that you don’t even have to flap your wings to achieve; you simply have to stretch out and soar. He is challenging you to trust Him. It’s not in trying but in trusting. It’s not in running but in resting.

31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.

    They will soar high on wings like eagles.

Lord Jesus, would you posture my heart toward a new place of surrender? I want to want you more. Stir my affections for you. Rekindle the devotion of my heart. Bring me to the place of humility, brokenness, and trust. I want to see from a different perspective as you lift me to new heights under the updraft of your grace.

Bryan Jarrett

Bryan Jarrett

Lead Pastor