Yesterday was such a day of encouragement, despite something that happened on the California side of my family. My cousin was injured at a construction site while he was working. A 3-ton beam fell on him, crushing his right leg and left ankle. He was in surgery for a while, but thankfully there is no fear of paralysis and the beam only hit his legs and not his head.
Even though he’ll be in a wheelchair for 7 months and going through some MAJOR recovery, it’s encouraging to know that God was with Him and had mercy on him. The beam could have easily killed him, but God was gracious and spared him.
I was still struggling with writing my current song yesterday. I was trying to remind myself that it would come in God’s timing. That even if I wasn’t meant to write songs and become a musician, God would reveal His plan to me, a plan that is perfect for my life, that He planned before I was born.
Listening to Britt Nicole’s Gold album really helped me out again yesterday, and when I read my devotions last night…well…my mind was blown.
From Jesus Calling, December 21
My plan for your life is unfolding before you. Sometimes the road you are traveling seems blocked, or it opens up so painfully slowly that you must hold yourself back. Then, when time is right, the way before you suddenly clears–through no effort of your own. What you have longed for and worked for I present to you freely, as pure gift. You feel awed by the ease with which I operate in the world, and you glimpse MY POWER AND MY GLORY.
Do not fear your weakness, for it is the stage on which My Power and Glory perform most brilliantly. As you persevere along the path I have prepared for you, depending on My strength to sustain you, expect to see miracles–and you will. Miracles are not always visible to the naked eye, but those who LIVE BY FAITH can see them clearly. LIVING BY FAITH, RATHER THAN SIGHT, enables you to see My Glory.
Like I said…MIND. BLOWN.
Because God is amazing. He gives you the EXACT encouragement we need, EXACTLY when we need it. I was holding myself back because it seemed like God’s plan was slowly opening up. But it will open up…THROUGH NO EFFORT OF MINE! “What you have longed for and worked for I present to you freely, as pure gift.” *SCREAMS!* Are you serious?! “…you glimpse My Power and My Glory.” You bet I will! Because God’s Glory and Power is the only thing that will be able to help me recognize the plan He has for me. I will see His Hand in it all!
This right here MESSED ME UP (in a good way, mind you): “Do not fear your weakness, for it is the stage on which My Power and Glory perform most brilliantly.” SAY WHAT?! I read that sentence over and over again last night. Because I definitely was fearing my own weakness. I felt weak, knew I was weak. I was wallowing in the fact that I was weak, that I couldn’t come up with lyrics and tunes right away, that it seemed as if I was the only person who aspired to be a musician but was struggling.
But I didn’t remember that in my weakness, HE IS STRONG.
Even the sentence after that messed me up! “As you persevere along the path I have prepared for you, depending on My strength to sustain you, expect to see miracle–and you will.” OH MY GOSH.
I love how it says “depending on My strength to sustain you…” My dreams are not going to be reality if I depend on myself. Obviously, I’ve been focusing and depending on my weakness. How could I when the God of the universe is there for me to lean on?
“Miracles are not always visible to the naked eye, but those who live by faith can see them clearly. Living by faith, rather than sight, enables you to see My Glory.”
“We live by what we believe, not by what we can see.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NCV)
FAITH. A word that I had not really been living by for the past few weeks, if I were honest with myself. Sure, I may’ve had faith…but it was faith in myself. No wonder my self-esteem was low and I was tearing myself and my dreams down. Having faith in myself was setting me up for failure. Because I’m broken and fallen and sinful. Having faith in Jesus, though? Putting all of my worries, struggles, and burdens on this precious Lamb who died for my sins and then rose again and is in Heaven with the Father right now, looking at me, smiling upon me, opening His arms out to me and saying, “Come here, dear, and rest. I’m here for you. I love you.”? Shoot.
I am in awe of His presence.
Even as I type this, my flesh is writhing. It wants me to struggle, flail, break down, cry, give up, and depend on myself. Even as I type this, I feel my stomach kind of caving in. My eyes are trying to make way for tears. And I have to take deep breaths to calm myself down.
But after reading this devotion last night, I am encouraged. I realize what I need to do. I need to realize that I am WEAK. But in my weakness, my God is strong, making me strong as well.
“My body and my mind may become weak, but God is my strength. He is mine forever.” – Psalm 73:26
Oh my gosh, 2 Corinthians 12:5-9 is just perfect for this. Paul is writing in the beginning of the chapter about a man he knew that was taken to heaven. He wonders if the man was in body or spirit, but he knows that the God knows. Paul explains that he will brag about a man like that, but he wouldn’t brag about himself like that.
5 I will brag about a man like that, but I will not brag about myself, except about my weaknesses.6 But if I wanted to brag about myself, I would not be a fool, because I would be telling the truth. But I will not brag about myself. i do not want people to think more of me than what they see me do or hear me say.
7 So that I would not become too proud of the wonderful things that were shown to me, a painful physical problem was given to me. This problem was a messenger from Satan, sent to beat me and keep me from being to proud. 8 I begged the Lord three times to take this problem away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.” So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles, for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.
…Is it safe to say that I know EXACTLY what Paul is talking about here? Here he talks about a physical problem that he is dealing with, that he’s begging God to take away. Thankfully, I am not dealing with a physical problem. I have friends and family members who have physical problems, and I wonder how they get through it, how they’re sustained. Jesus is how. They rely on Jesus when their knees hurt, when their head pain is unbearable and they can’t get to sleep, when their arm feels like it’s about to give out, when their legs have been crushed and they have to go through months of recovery. It encourages me to see them rely on Him like that. 🙂
My problem, however, is not physical. Rather, it deals with my heart. I’m asking God to take away my weakness of thinking that I’m not good enough, of not being able to write the things I want to write about, of not being able to touch people’s hearts the way I want to for His glory. I want to have faith in Him, to trust Him and depend on Him for everything in my life, especially my hopes and dreams. God knows, I have SO MANY. 🙂
So, yes, I need to learn to admit that I am weak. But I also need to learn to BRAG about my weaknesses. Because in my weaknesses, God’s strength and power shines through them all. His grace is enough, and “His power is made perfect” in me! What is this crazy love and grace that I’ve been given?! Still blows my mind.
To be honest, I don’t even know how to close this up. Because this subject of weak, strong, Who to lean on…it’s still open and active in my life. I feel as if I can’t end this post! As I walk through life, I can’t forget this. I can’t forget to live by faith, to realize I’m weak and that I need to depend on God for strength. My strength is total weakness. God knows my heart, my hopes, my dreams. I can only pray and ask God to touch them all.
And then I have to believe that His answers to those prayers, whether it’s “yes”, “no”, or “wait”, are what is best for me. I have to expect to see miracles when I depend on Him for strength.
I KNOW HOW TO END THIS POST! With some awesome lyrics from some awesome songs by some awesome musicians! Because I love music and I believe it speaks to the heart and soul.
As I was writing this, I was listening to my The Rocket Summer playlist and the song “Roses” played. As I listened to the lyrics, I realized that this is how I’m feeling. Amazing how it seems like every song I’ve been listening to pertains to my life… (^^’)