There are moments in our lives of transcendence
when we see ourselves and the world clearly.
We are inspired, floating above the trivia of life.
Perhaps we are in love for the first time,
perhaps we have found our true vocation,
the birth of a child,
we receive recognition for a life’s work;
at times like these
“we mount up with wings like eagles”.

There are also times in our lives of great productivity
when we are in that zone where we have found our niche,
mastered the skills and knowledge required,
we are busy
we are working with a great team,
we are loved and valued.
We know what we are doing,
it’s meaningful and energises us;
“we run and do not grow weary”.

But there are also times when we do it tough.
We experience great disappointment,
prolonged illness,
relationships fail,
business collapses,
we work in a job that does not feel meaningful or valued.
We lose a spouse or child.
Our world collapses.
Life is hard.
It’s at times like this that we can feel
that we are just going through the motions.
We hit rock bottom but somehow are still standing.
This is the time when we trust that
“we walk and not faint”.

The prophet Isaiah wrote eloquently
about how God empowers us in life:

He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for 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.
                           Isaiah 40:29-31

When someone writes dramatically/poetically
it’s very common for them to raise the emotion with each phrase.
Each line ascending in intensity and inspiration.
In this vein, I’d have expected Isaiah to write,
“we will walk, we will run, we will fly.”
But he doesn’t. He descends.
“We will fly, we will run, we will walk.”
We will walk, but not faint.
Walking is the hardest part.
Today I’m thinking of those people I know who have done it tough.
We have all had a tough year living with the Covid-19 pandemic,
but there are many who have also walked a long and uphill road
enduring cancer treatments,
grieving the loss of loved ones,
isolation, depression and fear.

As we journey towards Easter,
we remember Jesus faced the grim realities of corrupt power,
betrayal and the hardest walk
carrying the cross to calvary.
It is the Christian conviction
that God’s greatest work and love for us
is shown in this most terrible occasion
as Jesus walks but does not faint
from the fate before him.

Whether you are flying,
running or
God is with you.

This is the gospel and it’s good news.