I’ve done some pretty cool things in my lifetime. Yeah, sure. My lifetime of seventeen years. But I’m not going to lie; I’ve accomplished some things that I’m really proud of. However, I realize that my proudest moments are the ones brought to me by God. He gave me whatever was necessary to succeed, whether it was the confidence and clarity at a speech & debate meet, the inspiration and words for an essay (or blog post :), the wisdom and knowledge for an important test, the list goes on. Think about your greatest accomplishment. How old were you? What did you do leading up to that moment? How did you feel after it happened? Who helped you achieve what you did?
But even with those accomplishments in mind, I’ll be the first to say it: I’m a mess without God. I crumble without Him. I can’t do things without His help. I am nothing without the Lord. I have come to realize that I am so human and because of that, so weak. To be honest, I can barely function correctly in my daily life when I don’t seek His face first thing in the morning. When I push praying to the side or say I’ll read my Bible later, something in my soul just falters. And so do my actions and words that follow.
I have only just begun to understand the extent of my weaknesses within the past few months, and most of them have nothing to do with my physical strength. They are weaknesses on the inside, i.e. my ability to love, have joy, always have peace, constantly be patient, (wait a second…the Fruits of the Spirit?! YES! That makes total sense! Because when my spirit is weak, those nine things are weak, too… “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)
The coolest thing, though, is that just as I’ve become familiar with all of my weaknesses, I have become even more familiar with His strength. As I’ve been looking, straight in the eyes, at the places where I fall short, God’s power has stared me right back.
I’m here to tell you that as soon as you let the pride fall, as soon as you realize that you are weak, as soon as you clothe yourself with humility, as soon as you absolutely can’t take it anymore…
That is the exact moment when God will step in.
That is when His awesome power will show up. His power is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
If you have yet to come to the end of yourself, I pray that you do soon. Because as awful as that day may seem…
• When you crumble to your knees and finally accept the fact that you can’t do this on your own
• When you finally realize that He is God and you are not
• When you are smacked in the face with the fact that you’re not all that you thought you were
…I promise that it will change you forever. Because as soon as you accept that you are weak, He will show you just how strong He is. Here’s the hope: you can wake up feeling weak and weary every day for weeks, months, or years, and He will still be stronger. When you empty yourself—of your pride, selfishness, trying to do things in your own power, etc.—the Lord will actually be able to infuse MORE of His strength and peace into you. When you get rid of what you think is great, you make room for God’s greatness.
Acknowledge your weaknesses today. Say them out loud or write them down. Open your heart to God right now. Show Him and talk to Him about every beat up, scarred up, broken piece, and He will touch it tenderly. But I’m letting you know now: what God is going to do to your life will be anything but tender. He’s going to come into every part of your life with a roar like a lion and give you more strength and peace than you ever thought existed.
But as soon as you begin to feel better, stop and remember what it felt like at the bottom. Keep reminding yourself that you are weak and that you can’t do it on your own. Why? Because daily humility is the bug spray for pride. If you stop applying it, the mosquito of pride will poke a tiny little hole into you and take up residence again. Get that bug spray out daily: Praise God for being your King. Pray and ask Him to humble you. Read the Bible and what it says about pride (spoiler alert: God hates it.)
You already know this from experience: it is easy to remember all of your weaknesses when you are down in the valley, but you will be on the top of the mountain again soon. So when you get there, remind yourself of who gave you those legs. Take some binoculars and look down into that valley of who you used to be. Your arrival at the top doesn’t give you permission to forget the lessons you learned at the bottom.
Let’s be real: you can’t ______ always, and there will be days when you won’t be able to do ______, and there will be moments when you can’t take ______ anymore, but even still God’s saying, “I’ve got you. I’ve got this. I know that you’re weak and worried, but I’ve packed the strength and the peace. Did you bring the bug spray?”