Proverbs 31 Ministries and have been SO encouraged by what I have read there, and the scriptures I have been pointed too in other ways today. Our family is reminded that when we relinquish control of our lives and truly say 'Yes to God' we often face trials for God to see if we are truly sincere and surrendered. There are so many times I fail, I lash out when my life gets interrupted with things I don't like such as sickness, children's disobedience, misunderstandings, etc. After the fact I often feel so incredibly guilty, and want to raise my tear-stained face and say "I give up!" "I can't do this!" "I don't want to do it anymore!" "I am alone!" In her book What Happen's When Women Say Yes to God, Lysa Terkerst shares how she would label herself in these moments. "I don't qualify to be a woman who says yes to God. Look at how I've acted: impatient, unkind, emotional, angry, unstable, and irrational." (pg. 70)
How many times have I said that too. BUT God doesn't want us to give up. In fact He doesn't want OUR abilities, OUR strength (which is very lacking!), OUR perfection. He just wants our surrender and obedience to Him, and in His amazing ability can turn our weaknesses into His strength.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardship, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (ESV)
God loves paradoxes! We are to live for Him by dying to ourselves, we are to find freedom when we are slaves to Him, we are strong when we are weak...because in our weakness the world will see that the strength we have can only come from another source, God!
This paragraph from Lysa's book helped to encourage my failing heart today.
"I am not a woman who should be labeled unable. I am a woman on a journey of learning how to make sure my reactions don't deny Christ's presence in me. I am a woman who says yes to God not because my emotions and reactions are always perfect. No, I say yes to God because He is perfectly able to forgive me, love me, remind me, challenge me, and show me how to weather trials in ways that prove His Spirit resides in me. I remind myself often that people don't care to meet my Jesus until they meet the reality of Jesus in my life." (pg. 70)
God I truly want my life to shine as a bright light of your love and forgiveness to a lost, hurting, and dying world. Help me not to be so concerned about my lack of ability, but to learn to trust in You and rely on Your strength, Your love, and Your guidance, not mine. Mine will fail. Yours is eternal and powerful! Help me to take joy in my weakness to know you will give me Your strength when I surrender all to you. Amen.