Learning to rely upon the Lord rather than upon my own strength or wisdom has been my life struggle. The brief bio for my workshop “God’s Purposes in Trial and Suffering” summarizes me in a nutshell:
Melinda Inman comes from sturdy pioneer stock. She’s a tough nut to crack! Much of her spiritual growth has been accomplished through God’s tools of disaster, flood, calamity, financial ruin, and illness. Thankfully he isn’t done working yet! Melinda thinks if she weren’t so hard-headed, arrogant, and embittered, God could probably shape her to be a godly woman quicker and with much less effort on her part, but she seems to need to learn her lessons the hard way. How about you?
Can you relate? Is this you too?
God is faithful. He continues to work on me, as he continues to work on you. He brings about our spiritual growth. Maybe you’ve come to the end of yourself as a young mother with a passel of small children who daily challenge your organizational skills and patience. Maybe you’re trying to figure out how to both work and care for your family as a single mother. Maybe you’re facing cancer at forty. Maybe you’re in prison.
Don’t we all want spiritual growth to be easier than this? I don’t want God to have to use hardship to polish off my rough edges and to bring me to the end of myself, so I can learn how much I need him. I want him to work through success, accomplished goals, and fame. Maybe you feel the same.
But God knows the best way to make me into the woman he desires me to be—a humble woman, one who uses her gifting to tell others about God’s mercy. And he knows you that intimately as well.
In our weakness, God’s power is made perfect. Our weakness demonstrates that God has the power to bring us to maturity and completeness, that he does the work, not us. When we are weak, he shows himself strong as he enables our transformation and our ability to do what is right and good.
I want him to receive the glory. I want his strength shining in my life to draw people to him.
But my flesh doesn’t like this. I want to be strong in-and-of myself, accomplished, the go-to girl. I want everyone to know how smart and capable I am, how much I have it all together. My arrogance is appalling.
As I’m knocked down again, my energy levels falling and narrowing my capabilities, I’m soul searching.
- What am I to do now that my strength is so little?
- How do I rely on the Lord and for what?
- Where does he want me to push forward?
- Where does he want me to pull back? How?
Consistently God brings just what I need to hear at the time I need to hear it. Uplifting words greatly encouraged me this week. If you are now in a place of weakness and are praying for God’s strength, check out this article. I’ve read it repeatedly and am working through it in my ponderings. Click the link below.
Pray for the Strength that God Supplies by Jon Bloom, Desiring God, September 26, 2014.