by Louise Tucker Jones
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 KJV
I was 30 years old, six months pregnant and recovering from an emergency appendectomy, when I read Isaiah 40:31 on a hospital menu. The pregnancy had been difficult with early bleeding, monthly injections, and limited activity. And now, after surgery, I couldn’t even turn over in bed without the baby sliding under my 5-inch incision and giving a painful kick. As I reread the verse, I wondered how long I would have to wait before I could “walk and not faint” or “run and not grow weary.”
A year and half earlier I had experienced a devastating miscarriage, spending two days in the hospital due to excessive hemorrhaging. Two years before that, my three-month-old son, Travis, had died unexpectedly due to congenital heart disease. I ached for my babies as well as renewed strength.
I thought of Hannah in the Old Testament and how she asked God for a son. The Lord answered her prayer. I followed her example, kneeling by my bed and begging the Lord for a child. Now I waited.
Three months after my appendectomy, I held my newborn baby in my arms. I kissed his tiny face and promised to love him forever, continuing to claim the promise of Isaiah 40:31. I knew this little boy with Down syndrome would have an uphill journey most of his life. What I didn’t know was how steep that climb would be for me. I can’t say how many times I have prayed and pleaded for God to renew my strength, to let me soar like the eagles and to allow my little boy to walk and run.
There were seemingly impossible tasks and skills for Jay to master. Nothing came easy for him, but he never lost heart. Playing on the floor led to rolling which eventually gave way to crawling, then to walking at three years old. Tactile sensitivity made eating texture a chore and a compromised immune system kept Jay at the doctor’s office much of the time.
But God did not leave us alone. He sent angels to protect Jay in the midst of medical problems and challenges, knowing this child would touch hearts around the world through the many stories written about him. Though my son’s life has often been one obstacle after another, Jay’s faith always soared. There has never been a time that he did not know and love God. He never even needed an explanation. He just knew the Lord from the beginning and forever holds Jesus in his heart.
I can’t tell you how many times I have prayed Isaiah 40:31 during these 46 birthdays with Jay—both for my son and for myself. I can only tell you that God has always been faithful.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the many times my soul has soared with You. Please continue to give me wings when the walk is too steep.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Louise Tucker Jones is a speaker, columnist, and Gold Medallion award-winning author. Having a son with Down syndrome, Louise writes extensively concerning people with special needs and has contributed to more than 40 anthologies with her poignant life stores. Married to Carl for 45 years before he relocated to heaven, Louise is a mother, grandmother, professed chocoholic, and founder of the support group, Wives With Heavenly Husbands. Find out more at LouiseTuckerJones.com.
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