A few weeks ago while attending the Wichita Prayer Breakfast, the main speaker, Cheryl Batchelder, former CEO of Popeye’s Chicken, shared a thought from Scripture that I have been pondering almost every day since she shared it.
Cheryl shared Isaiah 40:22, “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.”
Grasshoppers! You mean those pesky little insects? Grasshoppers must be one of the more annoying, pointless insects created, and Isaiah compares us humans to grasshoppers in the eyes of the Father Almighty?
In my mind, this thought stood in direct contrast to the more familiar verse found in Isaiah 40. Just a few verses below Isaiah’s grasshopper description we are told in Isaiah 40:31, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
So which is it? Grasshoppers or eagles?
These last couple weeks I’ve decided to study up on grasshoppers. Grasshoppers, like eagles, also have wings. While they can’t soar like eagles, they can leap twenty times more than their own body length. For a human, that would be a flying leap of forty yards, which would revolutionize football, basketball, and baseball if only we could land with the same grace as a grasshopper. Grasshoppers are also considered one of the most successful species on the planet, coming in 18,000 different varieties (who counts this stuff?) and a variety of colors.
One other thing I’ve learned is that grasshoppers not only have wings; they also have five eyes. Part of their adaptability and survival comes from their ability to see everything around them in a great panorama.
I’ve been pondering that maybe it’s the grasshopper’s great eyesight that makes Isaiah compare humans to these inspects. Just imagine…When we live with limited vision, we only see the next blade of grass in front of us; we do not grow and thrive. As long as I remain down in the grass, content to only look in front of me, I quickly become weighed down by the trivial– annoyed by the attitudes of other people, caught up in my own selfish struggles, wondering why the grass doesn’t taste better, or worried that I will run out of grass altogether. It’s when we live with great eyesight that we experience the wide horizon and see our proper place in this world.
I’ve been reading Isaiah 40 differently this past week. I’ve been wondering if Isaiah’s words could say, “Look grasshopper…Do you not know? Have you not heard? Use those eyes of yours and recognize that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, who has the power to make a small grasshopper soar like an eagle.”
May we all learn to live with grasshopper eyes and eagle’s wings.