I hate being weak. I hate that I am not enough. I want to be more. To do more.
God, so much of what I want to do is for You. Why do You keep holding me down beneath Your mighty hand? You say You will lift me up in due time. When will that be? Can You point to a date on a calendar? Or give me a general idea? If it’s a long way off, my iPhone goes ahead like 20 years. And Due Time has got to be within the next 20 years. Right? God? Are you there?
In Jesus Calling, I’m instructed to rejoice in my weakness which, like a lodestone, draws me ever closer to God. Once upon a time those were encouraging words, but lately they sound a lot like this: blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
What happens when I am aware of my desperate need for the Lord but I don’t feel any closer to Him?
What happens when He doesn’t answer my prayers? When I ask for strength and yet have so little? When I beg to feel Him, plead to hear from Him and yet…nothing?
I go to His word for nourishment but everything tastes like dry grass. Parched, I drag myself across burning sands only to find an empty creek bed. I wrap myself in the love of friends and family but my heart shivers through the sunless night.
And I recollect a truth carved in the walls of my soul…but it’s like recalling the lyrics of a song without remembering the melody.
I know He is with me but I can’t feel Him.
And so I recite the words, even though I can’t remember the tune:
Fear not, for I am with you.
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
And I believe…even though I don’t feel. And I hope even though I can’t see. And I choose trust instead of fear – trust in the God who promises to uphold me with His right hand.
His right hand – a symbol of strength in the scriptures. Not His left, but His right hand. Because God only gives us His best.
And I keep reading:
For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you. Isaiah 41:13
The Lord my God who takes hold of my right hand. Not my left, but my right hand – my strength. My best.
And I consider what life would be like with God holding my right hand. I imagine cooking without my right hand and typing without my right hand – and the imagining comes pretty easily because with chronic pain and tendonitis, I am sometimes forced to rest my hands, and wow…even in those brief hours, I hate it.
(Did I mention I hate being weak? Because I do. I hate it.)
Honestly, God taking hold of my right hand doesn’t sound particularly helpful. Surely, it would be easier if He held my left hand.
But then…would He even be helping me at all? Or would He just be something I hold onto to make me feel better – like a security blanket or the cross I wear around my neck?
Like an unsteady toddler who cries for help after falling down and then pushes her father away as soon as she’s back on her feet, I want Him to help me do it on my own.
But that’s not quite how it works, is it? God is not raising us to be independent. Rather, He’s calling us back from independence, into the freedom that comes in total dependence on Him.
And that means that sometimes He must take hold of us at our strongest places, limit us, slow us down.
Perhaps it’s the only way He can get me to stop trying to do it all on my own. In taking away the things I rely on – my endurance, my abilities, my intellect, my creativity, my spiritual insight, my energy, my confidence – He reminds me of the one thing that really matters: Him.
And I remember His strength that called light out of darkness, igniting the fire of countless suns and flinging them across space and time.
His strength that hurled the planets into motion with perfect precision, summoned beings out of the earth and rushed the wind of life into man. His strength that bore the crushing weight of humanity’s doom and under it, through it, forged a new way. His strength that ruptured the tight and binding prison of flesh, birthing new life in a dry and barren wasteland.
His strength. Which has always been….will always be…enough.
And so, confused and frustrated, weak and exhausted, I stop tugging and pulling and fighting and trying to wrench my hand away from His.
And in this moment, I surrender my best – which is never enough – so that He can give me His best. Which has always been….will always be…enough.
The morning after I completed this post, Leroy Case preached about our God the “Star-breather.” His message was incredibly relevant to me, to this post, and at the end he shared a song with us. And now I am sharing it with you.
Already All I Need by Christy Nockels