Habakkuk: 3. 17. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18. yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.”
Whatever season we are in, dry season, flooding, burdensome, happy, God is our strength and purpose. His love and strength sustain us. He is good when nothing or noone else is.
I am stronger now because I can cry. There is immense power in the humbling defeat of just breaking down and letting the tears flow. Denying you have feelings is an ego thing, a pride thing. We have our feelings hurt deeply sometimes and rather than swallowing it and acting tough, if we let it out it proves we are human and shows we are humble. We are saying, “God, this is too much for me and my body can’t hold this pain in and I let it out for you to take. Please help me.” Maybe you don’t actually say those words but your spirit does when you weep and wail. That is why God comforts you. Ever wonder why you don’t keep crying forever? God comforts those who mourn. He hugs you and is with you. We have comfort. Any time humility is present and a request for help, God is there. And if you do keep crying forever, you are asking yourself or something or someone unrealistic for that help and only God can do it. Only God can heal wounds better than they were and mend broken hearts. I know this personally many times over. When you weep and fall to your knees in prayer, God steps in to your humble heart and heals stronger, so you end up at your strongest. We are strongest when we are least (being humble) and God is stronger in us.
Without struggles in our lives, we can not know ourselves and what we are really like, how we handle pressure, what we need to work on, how we learn, our pride level, so many things. If we only possess a perfect life in which no conflict was present, for one it would be dreadfully boring and two, we would never have the opportunity to know or improve ourselves beyond the extent of the mirror looking at the outer shell of ourselves. To truly know ourselves and what we are capable of and what we need work on, how can we grow wiser, learn, challenge ourselves, learn to lead, etc.? And without knowing ourselves deeper, how do we know God deeper, whose fingerprint is below the seen, in the soul and not on the seen shell? Not that we are God but that He reveals Himself in us in our inner soul when we worship and follow Him. Every great novel has an antagonist and a crisis. Some have several. Would it be worth the read without it?
God blessed my Daddy with an exorbitant strength, of will, body and mind. He had an uncanny to eye up a situation immediately and know exactly what was called for and fill the need, whether it was spiritual or physical or mechanical, whatever. God provided him with this as his gift and developed it through years of experiences and opportunities to use and grow it. It was incredible. You could feel him enter the room and he was short but the largest thing in the room. And I learned later that this was not just his own strength but his faith and trust that God would work through Him and provide whatever was needed that he didn’t have. That, my friends, is the greatest power we can possess. And when my Daddy went to be with Jesus in Heaven, he passed that strength to me. I can feel it. It must have been his prayer, knowing I would need it to heal from my great loss of him and everything else that happens in life. And I see that gift as sacred and use it every chance I can. I know that if help is needed, I can provide that either myself or more importantly from God. What is ever the worst that can happen? We die trying and go to Heaven? Doesn’t sound so bad really, so I am game for whatever is in my path to do. I think that is not just true of me but of every single Christian that truly lives for and loves God with all their heart, soul and strength, which should be all of us. Remember that we are on this earth to worship and serve and every time we help someone we are doing both of those. God always is with us to help us do it. Pretty fantastic life, even if there are bumps along the way. God is good!!!
Generally, I have it all together and am the strongest person, at least internally, in the room. Not the best, not the prettiest, not the most talented, but the internally strongest and externally often. It is a gift God handed me down through my dad, not bragging just a factual gift. Since I lost the most important man in my life that I loved the most, I am now knee deep in weakness much of the time, never knowing when the tears will flow, not knowing when a laugh starts but turns suddenly to tears. It is a bizarre thing for one who truly understood her strength to turn into one that has no firm or consistent grasp of it. And let me tell you the ironic thing. I have heard it a million times where God says “In your weakness, I am strong.” To me, that had only been true in theory, in matters of the soul and Spirit, in moments of saying something to help them when they were weak. I have been injured but never floored weak before. And the saying is true. When I have been weakest, I have had a new strength rise up in me, largely because I feel genuinely weak and thus vulnerable. Vulnerability requires a great deal more faith and trust in God to handle things you face. You have to. But then, I have also experienced this weakness where I had no energy to pray and get refocused and then I just stayed weak and barely wanted to leave my bed. And other times that I forced my attention and focus to prayer and getting up and serving my kids or husband, I found that every time I attempted a step, it was met with enough strength for another. Then another. And this is the secret. So I find my strength renewed in an odd sort of seemingly wimpy but actually calling in the big guns spiritually way. And this is a new stronger strength than I have known, not dependent on my efforts and mental and physical prowess. It is based on God’s ability to pinch hit when I have a broken arm. Incredible lesson I wanted to share in case anyone needs hope and a handy secret weapon. You are most welcome. All good comes from God. 🙂
I picture in my mind a spot in a paradise beach, somewhere secluded with palm trees, sand and surf but not too secluded to not have a hammock and ready made fruit drinks. And I picture laying on said hammock and sipping on said fruit drink and enjoying the sound of the surf. Hours float into days and weeks and I am unmoved, peaceful, calm. There is a breeze from the ocean, even a strong one, and the palm trees bend. My soul is reminded that palm trees remain strong in all winds because they bend with it. They are flexible. They do not stand so rigid that they are unmovable and fight the wind just to break away. They dig their roots in and flex. They do not cease being trees. But they live through even hurricanes and are strong get for it. I take comfort in this bending of the Trees. I take comfort that I can move on response to storms that arise. I can flex and not break, but my flexing is bowing to God. He protects me as I bow before Him, no matter what happens. Then I can settle back down after in my hammock and sip my fruit drinks.
Normally very happy because it is my choice to be so, it is strange to most that I too have sad days once in a while. I do nonetheless, and I want to explore and share it because you might need to pour out or understand some sad days too and you are not alone in that. Everyone, even perpetually happy people have moments of sadness or days or weeks or months even. For me, if I feel it for a day and have a good eye downpour, it passes by the next morning but that is just my experience. Most of the time my sad days center around my daddy, whose dementia is worsening by the day and I am watching slowly drift off to oblivion. That is my sad spot. We have good days and bad days but even his bad days he is not himself any longer, not fully. There is a point he has crossed where he will never be fully himself ever again. His body, always strong and will even stronger keep on even in their weekened state, but his mind is losing the battle. And missing him is not mourning him because some form still remains and I remember. So the pain is acute and long term. I miss my dad but still have him to visit and care for. And today that hit me hard because his mind wandered many paths during my visit, during our attempt at conversation. The second part of my sadness was my son having a cold but going to his dad’s house for the weekend where I can not take care of him and nurse him back to health, and when I asked how he was I received no response. That frustrates and saddens me because I care about the health of my boy. So these two factors and one other I cannot discuss had led me to the point yesterday where my eyes received a good cleaning and my mind dwelt on the sadness far too long. Sometimes you have to feel it. You have to just be sad. In fact, during said times, I try to be as sad as possible, making it far sadder with my imagination, picturing everyone I meet with hidden sadness and tears about to emerge. Then I can cry harder, more painfully, more heartfealt. What purpose does this serve? It cleans my eyes, for one. Secondly, it gets it over faster so I can move on to the rainbow after the flood. Thirdly, if I do this hard enough, I become ridiculous to myself and will turn it over into laughter. Maybe that is a little crazy, but a little crazy never hurt anyone and by the way do not judge me. lol. If I can convert the energy of the tears into a greater more positive energy of laughter, it helps everything and lifts my spirits, cheering me up afterwards. It is not that I negate or dishonor the sadness but that I pay it homage and respect it but then draw the line at it ruling my life. The sadness must never be the goal, must never rule the show. It is a means to an end, which is to remember that God gives joy and peace and comforts us when we mourn. That is the end of the story, you see, my friend. It is a happy ending. It is an ending worth pushing through to get to.