(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Of the 858 Gems I have published since 2013, eight have been based (some partially) on Isaiah 40:28 through 31. But this is such a powerful Scripture, and so ideal for a Thanksgiving Gem, here it is again:
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlast- ing God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, 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.
Drumsticks or wings? Well, that is two choices you can take from a Thanksgiving turkey! My favorite is neither. I prefer the thigh. I like dark meat, and the thigh does not have the ligaments that a turkey leg does. Some folks like the lighter breast meat. My mother always chose the wing – closer to the breast, and so a lighter meat, but still some of the flavor of dark meat.
But concerning Isaiah 40:28 through 31, it is ‘drumsticks or wings’ that describe the choice given us!
Turkeys don’t look like graceful walkers! They waddle, which adds to their jerky motions when walking. But domestic turkeys (those usually destined for the oven) are not good fliers either! They are bred and fed for human consumption and, being heavier than wild turkeys, their wings do not readily sustain their weight for flying. Wild turkeys, on the other hand, are good at flight – short flights up to about 100 yards. But still…the Thanksgiving turkey is a great illustration of choosing between drumsticks or wings!
Why choose drumsticks? Drumsticks are what turkey’s waddle on. What happens when WE choose drumsticks (and I emphasize WE, as in my own choice)? We waddle!
- We can waddle on with a walk! But what does Isaiah 40:30 tell us? “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall….” Walking, even waddling along, can move you along…for awhile! But then you fall, that is, you reach a point where you cannot walk further!
That happened to me back in 1988 when I decided to walk across the state of Pennsylvania to raise money for Baptist missions. My partner in the walk was my twelve year old mixed breed dog named Kinky! Her name referred more to her hair than to her personality! About the fifth or sixth day, I pulled a muscle above my right knee going down a steep mountain road. The next day I walked about 15 miles before the pain got so great I could hardly walk. After two or three steps, I had to stop and massage the hurting muscle. I thought I could not take another step! I was done with the mission project! At a gas station/garage, I accepted a ride of about nine miles in the back of a pickup truck to my next overnight stay (the only ‘cheating’ on the whole walk!) Once there, I was told by my hosts to take a potassium tablet or two, and that helped so much I completed my 260 mile walk in twelve days!
So waddle walking is about the best we can do on our own!
- Or we can try flying!
➔ King Bladud, according to legend, received instruc- tions from the dead concerning human flight in about 850 BC. He build a pair of wings that attached to his arms. He tried the wings out at the temple of Apollo.......and fell to his death! ➔ Leonardo da Vinci, in 1505, drew up intricate plans for his ornithopter – a sort of helicopter with flapping wings. But one of his associates, Carda- nus, wrote that he could not get the ornithopter off of the ground! ➔ French brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier demonstrated the first hot-air balloon flight with living beings on board (a sheep, a duck, and a rooster) on September 19th, 1783. They launch- ed from the royal palace at Versailles, and flew the animals to a safe landing two miles away, after a- chieving a height of 1,500 feet. ➔ Just two months later, on November 21st, 1783, Pilâtre de Rozier and the marquis d'Arlandes made the first untethered human balloon flight. They rose to an altitude of about 3,000 feet and flew just over 5 and a half miles over Paris. ➔ Orville and Wilbur Wright are credited with the first manned flight controlled by mechanical means. At Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, December 17th, 1903, Wilbur Wright piloted the Flyer in four flights on the beach of Kill Devil Hills, about six miles south of the town of Kitty Hawk. The fourth flight lasted 59 seconds, covering 852 feet at a height of about ten feet. ➔ Today, man can travel in aircrafts that can exceed Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound, or about 2, 300 miles per hour)! But we still can’t fly without a lot of mechanical help!
But what happens if we heed and follow what is written in Isaiah 4:31?
...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.
We find ourselves with increased strength – strength to accomplish whatever the Lord lay out before us to do!
- If it is ‘drumsticks’ (that is walking or running), we shall walk or run as far as needed with His imparted strength! As God revealed to Isaiah, “…they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
- If it is ‘wings’ (the sense of flying high above our challenges), God will give us that height to be victorious in what we are facing! According to the prophet, “…they shall mount up with wings like eagles….”
I like the idea of God’s strength to walk, run, or even fly as He directs! But what does it mean to “…wait on the LORD…” to acquire such strength?
- We come before Him as helpless sinners, offering nothing to God but ourselves, needing His forgiveness and cleansing.
- We accept what Jesus Christ has done for us, paying the price for our sin and rebellion against the Father by laying down His own life on the cross in our place.
- We then offer ourselves daily to God, vessels that can glorify Him only when we are filled with His Holy Spirit!
- We read His Word, the Bible, and pray daily, communing with our Heavenly Father.
- We find a Bible-believing church, and we get involved – regularly attending, serving, financially supporting.
And as we “…wait on the LORD…,” God will give us the strength to walk, run, even fly – whatever you need! As Paul wrote in Philippians 4:19, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
So this is our choice, Drumsticks or Wings? — living it out in our strength or God’s! Choose Him every day – whatever He calls you to do, whether it is to walk, run, or fly!