It’s a rainy day here and all the kids are down for naps. Time to write! So many thoughts have been swirling through my mind over the last few weeks and sometimes it can be hard to know how to put them into actual words. I’m sure many of you can relate as you continue to face your own trials in one form or another.
However, one thing I’ve been realizing as I look back over the last 6-8 weeks of quarantine is that God has carried me one-day-at-a-time. There have been moments of meltdowns/tears (and not just from the children! 😉 ) and there have also been surprising joys and blessings. There have been moments of anger and there have also been moments of forgiveness. There have been moments of loneliness and there have also been moments of complete satisfaction in my God. And through all these differing moments God has been here. He has confronted my sin and He has also comforted my soul…over and over.
Trials are a normal part of life. God knows this. He doesn’t ask us to act like they don’t exist and He certainly doesn’t ask us to try and handle them on our own. Instead, He asks us to run to Him when our hearts feel overwhelmed. He asks us to trust Him.
We are going to have moments of weariness, frustration, sadness and grief, but He invites us to come to Him with those feelings. He is the only one wise enough to truly carry our burdens, changing us as we ask Him to make us more like Him.
On my own, I’m not strong enough to patiently care for my children for weeks on end without a break.
I’m not strong enough to serve my husband with joy when I feel tired.
I’m not strong enough to make one more meal, wash one more dish or pick up one more toy.
I’m not strong enough to face potential financial loss.
I’m not strong enough to face a shortage of food.
I’m not strong enough to experience loss of freedom.
I’m not strong enough!
I’m not strong.
And neither are you.
But God is! And depending on God is the strongest thing we can possibly do.
So, what does this look like?
The next time my children are getting on my nerves, I admit to God that I am weary and I ask Him to give me strength for this task. I ask Him for a creativity and love that I currently don’t possess.
When I’m tired of the meal-making, the scattered toys and the dirty dishes, I ask Him to help me to be faithful and that I would just do the next right thing.
When I’m worried about finances, I ask Him to give me wisdom in how we spend our money; that I would care about the things He cares about and not my own selfish ambitions.
When I’m afraid of being stuck at home for even more weeks ahead, I ask God to help me face today and to remember that He will be at my side in whatever He calls me to face.
When I feel overwhelmed and tired, I run to God, asking Him to exchange my weakness with His wisdom and strength.
When I sense my dedication to Him waning I ask Him to renew a steadfast spirit within me. I ask Him to give me a hunger and thirst for His Word where currently it is lacking.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Cor. 12:9-10
This passage used to confuse me. How can true strength be found in weakness? Humanly speaking, life doesn’t work that way. Yet, the more years I spend walking with God, the more I’m beginning to understand how this paradox works. Self dependence and strength (or even dependence on others) is not really strength at all. It can be taken away in an instant. Physical health, stamina and resolve can all be removed. In contrast, dependence on a God who never changes is strength. He never removes us from His grasp no matter what we may face. In fact, the more needy we become the more heavily we can find ourselves leaning in to Him.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed looking ahead to all the unknowns of the future and worrying about all the what-ifs and many probabilities, but God hasn’t called me to take care of those moments yet. In fact, as far as I am to be concerned, He has only called me here for this very moment in time. So, I have a choice: am I going to run to Him right now or will I try to do life on my own?
The same choice will be mine when those future hard days do come. He’s promised that His grace will be enough for me in those moments, if I choose dependence. And when I do, He’ll be there to sustain me, just as He’s been doing all along…one. day. at. a. time.