Strength, how I long for it! Not physical strength necessarily as I'm quite content being my girly, generally incapable self. But strength of heart, strength of Spirit, strength where it matters...it haunts every moment of weakness and every fear that brings tears to my eyes. I lie awake at night crying out for the strength to heal the pain, to calm my worries, and to appease my doubt. It was in one of these moments that the realization came to me. Strength with any lasting substance cannot come from me, but must come from Him. Of course, I've heard this in Sunday School and have read it in the Word but it never really sunk in, this fact that deep within me there truly is no strength of my own. There is no well in my heart from which I can draw healing that I have digged myself. Rather, every drop of strength must come from the One who is waiting and willing to give it as soon as I let go of the tattered shreds that I have sown together with pride and the facade of solidity.
And then, that sweet voice whispers, "My child, remember? My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. If you were not so weak, you would never know how strong I alone can make you."
Is it not in the most painfully silent moment that we can so clearly hear that still small voice? When we cannot find it within us to lift up our head, our God promises, "I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee!" The prayer of my heart has changed from "help me do this" to "Lord, be my very strength. Let no one see Beth in what I'm doing but truly let me shine with nothing but YOU." Since it cannot be my own strength that carries me through, my own strength can receive none of the glory.
Here's the nitty-gritty. Okay, so all pretty words and end results aside, my real conversation with God left me feeling like Moses, always retorting back with an excuse and God, ever gentle to me, responding with a strong but sweet answer as clear as glass. This genuine conversation I cannot forget, I write it out only to remind myself and to encourage you all.
It was me saying, "God, do you even hear me? Can you see how difficult all this is for me?"
"The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, His ears are open unto their cry."
"God, it wasn't supposed be this way, I loved him and he disappointed me."
"I have loved thee with an everlasting love, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."
"How can I go down there when I am still hurting?"
"The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart.""But God, I can't do this, I really don't think I can."
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.""But, Lord, it's going to be so very hard."
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"
And so after being gently scolded and once again put back into my place behind the shadow of His promises, the verse that my Lord gave to me when everything first fell apart held the promise for me that I will carry there in my heart. I pray it resounds clearly in everything I do, every word I speak, and every tear I'm certain to shed. ♥ Beth