I've been sitting here at my computer all morning.
I've been trying to write the post I was planning on writing, part two of the last post, but I just can't. (Don't worry though, that post is coming very soon. I promise.)
I keep staring at the screen, knowing that I need to save that plan for another time and write a little something from my heart instead. Or rather, from God's heart. To myself, and to you.
Sometimes life is really hard. If you have lived any number of years on this earth you know that by now.
Things don't always go the way we want them to. Trials come. Heartache weighs heavy.
But one thing remains true through it all.
My strength is not my own.
I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately. There have been a few bumps in my road recently and when the going gets tough, my grip on strength tends to get a little loose.
Fear seeps in. Any strength I thought I had gives way and weakness shivers in its place. My trust in God's perfect plan becomes unsteady. Worry and doubt crowd out peace.
Time and time again I've found myself stumbling along through a trial, trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps, plaster a smile on my face, and muster up the strength to keep on. Oh hello! So good to see you. Me? I'm doing fine! My husband? Oh he's fine too. We're both fine. Our life is fine. Everything is fine.
Somehow this process never works out all that well.
Inevitably there comes a point when I've given everything I have to give and there is nothing left. No use pretending anymore. I'm too tired to keep covering up all the hard stuff.
But here's the thing, and I've said it before: Rock bottom is not really a bad place to be when you think about it. That is where God so often calls this wandering sheep back to his open arms.
If I went through my life thinking I have it all together, how would I ever learn to be dependent on God? How would I ever learn to seek my strength in Him? That's the only place I'm really going to find it.
The truth is, friend, (in case you haven't guessed by now) I don't have it all together. But that just might be my favorite part of my life. Nothing else pushes me toward the Lord like all those crazy, messy, hard, real life things. Nothing else reveals my desperate need and points me to God's promise to fulfill it.
"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faith or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 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 40:28-31
"But he said to me, ' My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
May you be encouraged in this, friend, just as I have been: The power of Christ is made perfect in your weakness. His grace is sufficient. You don't have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and pretend like everything is fine. Let go of your pride and self-sufficiency and lean on Him. He gives power to the faint. Wait on Him and He will renew your strength.