Friday, August 31, 2012

God Is Our Strength

Wow! Where do I begin? For those of you who have been reading my blog, you may have noticed that I haven't written anything in awhile. The reason being was that I was questioning whether the Lord wanted me to continue writing. Part of the reason I was questioning that is because I was doing what our Lord tells us not to do--compare ourselves with others. As you all well know, there are many bloggers who are very gifted at sharing words of encouragement and hope from God's Word and their lives. Also, many of these bloggers are very artistic using pictures, videos, etc... It made me wonder why I should continue writing when there are so many more creative people offering hope in Jesus. I kept praying about it asking the Lord to make it clear what He wanted me to do. I sincerely desire to honor and glorify Him, but honestly, I was hoping that He would tell me to leave the blogging to others to do.

On August 12 as I was having my coffee time with Jesus, I started my prayer time thanking Him for His strength because on that particular day I was feeling very weak and discouraged. It was one of those days when I was missing Ty alot, was weary of this life and needed His strength to help me to carry on. As I do every day, I expressed my desire to do His will and told Him that I was still struggling with whether He wanted me to continue the blog. That particular morning He led me to read in the devotional book, "Jesus Calling". This is what I read:

"Come to me when you are weak and weary. Rest snugly in My everlasting arms. I do not despise your weakness, My Child. Actually, it draws Me closer to you, because weakness stirs up My compassion--My yearning to help. Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been.Do not compare yourself with others, who seem to skip along their life-paths with ease. Their journeys have been different from yours, and I have gifted them with abundant energy. I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence. Accept this gift as a sacred treasure; delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light. Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow Me to bless you richly through it."

The tears came as I read those words. As Jesus has done countless times since the death of my husband, Ty, almost 3 years ago, He spoke so intimately to my heart. You need to understand that I don't read in this devotional every day and yet on this day when I was feeling so weak He knew I needed to hear His words of comfort in my weakness. Also, He reminded me not to compare myself with others--to accept the gifts that He has given me. After reading the devotional, He spoke so clearly to my heart: "I want you to continue writing, to be willing to be vulnerable, to share your heart--what I'm teaching you, and to be willing to be misunderstood, remember--I was." He also reminded me that the things He has used in my life to change my heart and draw me closer to Him have been simple, black and white words on pages--from His love letter, the Bible and through other books which are written about His Word. I don't need artistic ability. I just need to pass on the hope that He gives me and desires all of us to have as we seek to know Him better and become more like Him. So...that's what I'm going to do. Jesus is my HOPE--the reason I get up every morning. He desires an intimate, personal relationship with each of us and always knows exactly what we need to hear as He showed me on August 12 and continued to show me as I looked up the verses that were listed in the "Jesus Calling" devotional. This is where again I want to share how specifically our Lord will speak to our hearts as we seek Him. As I looked up the first verse, my eye was instead drawn to a verse that I had highlighted on another page which said:

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40: 29-31.

How awesome is that? He's again reminding me that He will give me strength when I am weary. Also, I read the life application commentary in my Bible which said:

"He is never too tired or too busy to help and listen. His strength is our source of strength. When you feel all of life crushing you and cannot go another step, remember that you can call upon God to renew your strength. Hoping in the Lord is expecting that His promise of strength will help us to rise above life's distractions and difficulties."

Then I turned the page and read these verses that I had highlighted:

 Isaiah 41:10,13 - "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." And verse 13 - "For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you. Do not fear; I will help you." The other verses listed in "Jesus Calling" were Isaiah 54:10 "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you." It was so great to be reminded of God's love that never fails and His compassion for me. Then from Romans 8:26,27 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." and the life application commentary:

"As a believer, you are not left to your own resources to cope with problems. Even when you don't know the right words to pray, the Holy Spirit prays with and for you and God answers. Ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for you in accordance with God's will. Then when you bring your requests to God, trust that He will always do what is best."

In my weakness, I can be assured of the help of the Holy Spirit. In my weakness I started my coffee time with Jesus by asking Him to give me strength. That strength, as well as encouragement and joy came as He directed me to His Word and very specifically took me to verses that He knew I needed to hear. I started out my morning ready to throw in the towel, and my loving Heavenly Father scooped me up in His arms and spoke His words of comfort as I chose to seek Him. As I told a friend recently: "I just love my Lord so much--He amazes me more and more each day as He helps me to take step after step on this road we call life."

So...I know Jesus wants me to continue to share what He teaches me as I choose to cling to Him, my HOPE. May He bless each of you too with a better understanding of His never-ending love and compassion for you and remind you of what an intimate, personal Father He is to us, His children. Nothing and no one can meet your needs like Jesus!!!!

The song, "Wonderful, Merciful, Savior" came to my mind as I was finishing the blog. I looked it up on youtube and was again amazed at my God as I read these words in the song: "Here in our weakness you find us." Not only did He direct me in His Word to the verses I needed to hear, but He also gave me a song too. I am in such awe of Him. I trust that as you listen to the song that you will praise and worship Him and will also be blessed by the beautiful pictures of His creation. Actually, I have given you two videos of the song to listen to and watch. I liked one for the beautiful pictures and the other for the added verses and quotes. I hope that you will be blessed by both as you praise our Lord in song.

1 comment:

  1. I, for one, am glad to have you back, Keva! (I look at people like Ann Voskamp and Emily Freeman and feel exactly the same way.)