When we're at our weakest, when it feels as if our knees will buckle, God's strength is seen most clearly in us.
Or at least, that's what we say, but how does that work, exactly? We know Christ is living inside us (1 Cor. 3:16), that He empowers us by His Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), but what does that look like in the day-to-day? How, when life completely levels us, can we draw strength from Christ?
About five years ago, my husband and I developed a short-term obsession with rock climbing. This was crazy for numerous reasons, the most obvious of which is my incredible fear of heights. And yet, somehow, secured in my harness and attached to my husband by a long, thick rope, I felt better. Stronger.
A littlle. But I'd still tremble. And I mean, enough that my shakes became visible to our guide. He called it the sewing machine leg, and he assumed it came from fatigue.
To an extent, he was correct. I certainly wasn't the strongest or most agile woman to ascend the Arkansas rock face I attempted to tackle that day. But I was determined to make it to the top.
And I did, with my husband's help. When I'd begin to falter, I'd feel a tug. A quick glance below showed my sweet husband, pulling on my rope inch by inch. This added strength–his strength–pushed me to the top.
Sometimes I envision God doing the same with us.
He's secured us in our harnesses of salvation, attached us to Himself, and determined to, inch-by-inch, get us up and over whatever mountain peak we're facing.
Perhaps the most powerful way in which He works is by changing our thinking–expelling those things, like negative thoughts, that wear us done, and replacing every falsehood with truth.
That's the power of prayer. So often, when I feel utterly wiped, it's not so much due to whatever activity I'm engaged in, but rather all the emotional gunk I attach to it. When I let my mind run rampant, my stress level grows, and stress is exhausting.
But when I pause and center my thoughts and heart on Christ, His clarity takes hold. Suddenly, my priorities shift back into alignment and I realize what I need to continue to pursue and what I need to let go.
He also reminds me Who's in control.
This means it's not up to me, whatever it is.
Can we take a collective breath here?
Doesn't that make you feel a bit stronger?
More than that, when I quiet my anxious thoughts listen to God's still, small voice speaking directly to my heart, He reminds me that I'm okay. That I'm enough. That I don't have to perform, strive, or live up to anyone else's obligations but His.
This freedom, the freedom to be exactly and only who He created me to be, fortifies my very depths.
And finally, when I'm really tired and feel as if I've hit wall after wall, He invites me to stop. To take a time out, even if but for a moment, and to rest in Him.
It's amazing how much stronger I feel after sitting in God's presence. In light of that, it's completely irrational how often I let so many insignificant things rob me of this precious time.
Do you have any thoughts or suggestions to share? What do you believe are some ways we can grab hold of God's strength? Can you share a time when you were utterly exhausted and felt God showing Himself strong on your behalf?