This morning I couldn’t sleep and as I lay alone in bed praying for the safety of my husband in South Africa and my children at work I also began to meditate on the events of the past weeks. As the thoughts went through my mind I decided to get up and write; hence the following.
Several years ago I had a break down or what I would rather refer to as a breaking down. The Lord saw fit in His great mercy to deal with me in an extreme way. I was running, running, running and although I thought I was using all my energy in His kingdom, my priorities were a bit mixed up. Being a strong person myself the Lord had to use strong means to teach me the way He wanted me to walk. Not only was my physical strength totally taken from me but in God’s all wise providence He saw fit that I would go through great temptations. These were not small temptations but temptations like I never knew were possible nor would I ever share them on a blog. There were times when I would literally go alone and cry out to the Lord to take them away and would continue praying and crying aloud until they passed. Going through deep temptations has literally left me feeling at times like a ragdoll after they passed. It was during this time that one evening while listening to a sermon at home on a Sunday night the words from Hebrews 13:5 were greatly applied to me….”I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” I felt so much comfort and strength from those words…I remember that I was going to the bathroom and I just stopped and leaned against the doorpost totally broken and overcome. The next morning I shared this with my husband who asked me if I had read the rest of the verse (which I hadn’t) but says….”Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” So here I was a weak broken person and I needed to be content with the way I was....seemingly impossible and yet commanded.
That was several years ago. But to my amazement once again these words have come back to me. During the last several weeks the trials have been very great and I would spend much of my day silently crying out for help. One morning I read from Joshua 1 where the Lord says to Joshua…I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.” In reading the context of these words the Lord commands Joshua to “be strong and of a good courage”….and in another place “only be thou strong and very courageous.” Again these words were a great encouragement for me and often through these last weeks I have read Joshua 1 and meditated on it praying for strength to be strong and pleading on these promises. I see more and more that the ups and downs of my life need not toss me like a rag doll. Even in the illness and death of my Dad…the boys’ accident…my husband being gone for two weeks…all these things and the things that I will face in my life are in the Lord’s hand and I must follow behind trusting Him for all things.
And now as I stand back and look at my life I see a seemingly great irony and yet it shouldn’t be surprising at all for it’s the Lord’s way of working. First I needed to be broken…not just a little arm or leg break so to speak, but complete breaking. And now while hobbling along it seems that the Lord is staying, “be strong” and yet it is a different strong. This is a strong that is not strong in self but only a strength that is found in Him. I know that I will never be the person I was…that strength will never be back, but now it’s a weakness in self, an ever learning to be content with it, and a dependence on Him for strength as one who has a broken leg depends on their crutch.