Why is God’s strength such a comfort to us? Because we are desperately in need of it and weak beyond description.
Now and again, He reminds of us that.
I had a speaking engagement in eastern Pennsylvania. By the time the plane landed, I was in trouble. My ears were closed, my throat was swollen, and I was blowing my nose every two minutes. Oh, lovely.
When we reached the church, I wasn’t entirely sure I could speak my name, let alone deliver three messages.
“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” Psalm 105:4
Right. My prayer was short and to the point. Please, Lord. Please.
God was already on it. The sanctuary had great acoustics, the microphone was up to snuff (okay, sniff), and the women in the audience were reach-out-and-touch-them close and genuinely excited about being there.
Still, only the Lord could get me through this, and I knew it.
I didn’t just lean on Him. I clung to Him.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2
“Good morning,” I began, relieved to hear more than just a croak come out. A second sentence followed, then a third one. I was as amazed as my hosts were, seated in the front row. They’d watched me go through tissue after tissue, just getting to the church.
I was utterly aware of His Presence, strengthening me, healing me, if only for those few necessary hours. I would say He stole my breath, except I was breathing. Normally, naturally.
“Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength?” Isaiah 63:1
I knew exactly who He was. My voice was strong, yet my knees were weak with joy. As Susan, one of my Facebook sisters, says, “He is so powerful. The word I want has not been invented yet!”
By day’s end, I’d almost decided I should arrive at every speaking engagement on the verge of pneumonia, just to watch God do what only He can do. The more broken I am, the more dependent I am, and that’s exactly where God wants us to be. As Paul says, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
I realize this story is minor, even trifling, compared to the major challenges you may be facing right now. Here’s the thing: if God cares enough about our needs to strengthen us in the small, everyday, blow-your-nose moments, just think what He can do in the midst of huge, life-changing, world-shaking situations.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10
Who wants to be weak? We do, beloved, so we can give God the glory for His strength in us.
When have you sensed God’s strength sustaining you? Thanks for sharing your thoughts below. Your words are a blessing and encouragement—to all of us!
Your grateful sister, Liz
Two e-books to celebrate this sacred season:
My Easter novella, Mercy Like Sunlight, invites us into the heart of Mary Margaret Delaney, a modern Mary Magdalene, as she moves from darkness to light. Just $3.99. Available on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, and ChristianBook.com.
In my children’s book, The Parable of the Lily, Maggie discovers the power of forgiveness and the true meaning of Easter. The eBook is just 99 cents thru 3/23! Available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and ChristianBook.com.
I read lots of blogs each morning. Ann Voskamp’s A Holy Experience is my absolute favorite. What a gift she is to the Body of Christ, because of God’s gifting in her. This, I believe, is her most powerful post ever, and just what our hearts need as we prepare for Holy Week. “We are saved from our hopelessness—because God came with infant fists and opened wide His hand to take the nail sharp edge of our sins.” Ann Voskamp