“Be Strong in the Lord”
Be strong in the Lord, and be of good courage;
Your mighty Defender is always the same.
Mount up with wings as the eagle ascending;
Victory is sure when you call on His name.
Be strong. In January, it’s hard to get away from this message. Fitness equipment that some well-meaning soul gifted for Christmas cries to us petulantly from the box. TV commercials for decadent football playoff snack spreads battle for air time with ads for gyms and P90X, whatever that is. And you’d better get with the program quick, before the last of your resolution withers away in the cold grey light of February. Be strong.
And when people say to ‘be strong in the Lord’, we are tempted to think of the same process; some sort of spiritual calisthenics, some program we can work, to ‘bulk up’ spiritually to live and serve in a way pleasing to God. Like there is such a thing as an Incredible Hulk for Jesus.
But instead, we are given here the image of an eagle, a mighty and powerful bird, strong for sure. Isaiah used the soaring eagle as a symbol of those whose strength is renewed by God. The thing is, while the eagle covers great distances at a time, it doesn’t do it by flapping its powerful wings. It catches currents of warm rising air called thermals, and glides, even soars, to great heights and for great distances, without exhausting its own finite stores of power. The eagle’s strength comes from relying on thermals to carry it.
Where does your strength come from?
Leigh Anne Armstrong