Friday, February 8, 2013

God's strength in our weakness

I woke up in a complete funk.

The very idea of getting up, showering, dressing, eating breakfast, opening my front door and getting to the train for work made me want to get back in the bed and hide under the covers.

It was one of those mornings when no good thought would enter my head.

Mind you, I'd woken up at 6 a.m. to have quiet time to meditate, journal, and exercise.  The morning is my space to nurture myself and have some intimacy with God as I begin the day.  But this morning, I simply could not do it.

So as I felt the tiredness in my body and the oppression of my spirit, I started beating myself up - why are you feeling this way?  What is wrong with you? 

I started then blaming God.  Why do you allow this God?  Why do you want to see me unhappy?  After everything I've been through!  I deserve...

It was a downward spiral.

I thought of all the things I could do to change my energy, to even just get myself off the couch.

But I couldn't.

What I could do and what I did was to send a text to a few friends along the lines of help!, pray! and encourage!

One friend sent me a screenshot of a quote that starts with: "Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets."
I jumped up.  Life is too short, and I'd just spent 2.5 hours fighting with God and myself...yet, for all that negative energy I wallowed in, I still had to go out and face the day.  I still had to go to work.

And you know what happened?  When I moved, God moved too.

I reached the office late but in time to prepare for the meetings on my calendar.  Right above my computer, a prayer reads: 
Precious Creator of All There is: I know that in every moment, of every day, no matter what the circumstance or situation may appear to be, the fullness of all that God is - IS present in me and as me.  God is present all around me at all times.  God IS all there is.  God is All I am.  God IS right where I am.
I turned on my computer. In my inbox, it was as if the whole universe was responding to that request sent to my friends for encouragement.  Words of love and peace were sent to me all throughout the day.  Words like:
  • God is an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1)
  • He is close to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18)
  • He will sustain you in times of trouble (Psalm 55:22)

I received all of it.  It was like God hit the restart button.

Three times that day I also received the scripture 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: His grace is sufficient . . . His power is made perfect in weakness . . . When I am weak, I am strong. 

I didn't understand it. I was like what does my grace is sufficient mean, how can His power be made perfect in my weakness, how can I be weak and then strong?

I looked at the amplified version:  But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness.  Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!  So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).

As I meditated on this, I realized that whatever we think we are going through, God's grace is the vehicle for guiding us through it.  It is never dependent on what we do, and it is always enough.  And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Furthermore, we don't have to be so resistant to our challenges -- those difficult times, the fighting with God and ourselves, or blaming others and situations for how we feel -- because we can be secure that when our weaknesses are revealed so is God's strength.  When difficulty is present, so is His power.  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  When I am weak, then I am strong because in my weakness, God shows up to empower me.

That morning, it was the strength to reach out to loved ones, to get up off the couch, to make it out the front door.  Sometimes it’s just the strength to see something differently, to drop just even one thought that’s hurting you, to believe in even just the possibility that God is more powerful than whatever-it-is.  

One thing we can be certain of is that no matter what, God is with us.  Whatever we need, He has it.  He has plans for us.  He has written the very pages of our lives.  He knows us in intimate detail.  Even the hairs on our heads have been numbered.  You are His great masterpiece - everything and all that you are. He loves you, completely and fully.  Amen!

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