But they 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 40:31
Sometimes, stories come across my desk I don't like so very much. One that I was given years ago isn't very pretty, but it sure does paint a clear picture.
The story took place in the Alleghenies and it occurred at a time when such activities were still legal. Back then a hunter shot a large golden eagle. Examining the beautiful bird, he found one of its claws was held fast in a steel trap from which dangled a five-foot chain.
Although the trap was not heavy enough to stop the bird from flying, the additional weight wearied the eagle, kept him from flying as high as he might, and eventually brought him down within reach of the hunter's shotgun.
Sad story, isn't it?
Of course, it's not nearly as sad as those souls caught in the trap of sin and the snare of Satan. At creation the Lord designed His people to be free and filled with unending happiness. Sadly, Satan seduced our first ancestors, and we have been trapped ever since. Temptations, vices, sins -- these are traps that pull us down, making each day a struggle. These are the snares that take the unbeliever to his death.
If you, or someone you know, has been or is caught in such a trap, I'm pleased to share there is good news. Understand that good news doesn't come in the form of some sort of self-help advice. That would be futile. Just as an eagle cannot free itself from a steel trap, we cannot release ourselves from Satan's capture.
No, our good news is this: God has sent His Son to seek and save the trapped. Sinful souls, who repent and acknowledge Jesus as Lord will, as Isaiah says, "renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles." By Jesus' sacrifice they will be empowered to run and not grow weary, to walk and not be faint.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear God, it is only by Your grace and through the blood of Your Son I can be freed from the traps of this world. Accept my gratitude for what You have done for me and wish to do for everyone else. With a thankful heart I ask it. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries