A teenager, who was about to lose her baby, was asked a pivotal question during a particularly intense moment. “Where do you carry your strength?”
She was able to finally push the baby out into the world by understanding that her strength came from this indefinable place within her that helped her reach beyond herself into the very essence that I define as God’s grace.
It’s the question on the table between us today. Do you see it? Where do you carry your strength? Where does it come from? Do you have any at all that you can call your own?
Born As Weak Humans
Let’s think about this a minute. We are born as weak human beings. The beautiful baby boy couldn’t survive without someone to take care of him. That teenager, who didn’t even know if she wanted him or not, had to find the strength to not only carry him, but give him birth.
If she decides not to keep him, someone else will have to feed him, clothe him, teach and train him to be a man. But right now that baby needs someone because he cannot take care of himself.
We all begin as weak and frail human beings. Human babies are said to be one of the most helpless of all animals. Reptiles don’t even have to take care of their babies. They are like little adults when they are born. They can run, hunt and take care of themselves.
Humans, though, need to be raised, guided, cared for and in this process comes the impartation of whatever strength the parent has. If they are intelligent, likely their child will be too. If they are compassionate, the child will carry some of that. If they have negative traits, well, yeah, the kid gets those by osmosis too.
Through the Valley
Really, though, where does our strength come from? We can’t really answer this question until we have walked through some difficult times. It’s in the stress and strain of suffering, trials and tests that we learn if we have any strength at all and where it emanates from.
I had one of my darkest times to date when I weighed 430 pounds. It was when the cardiac surgeon came into my hospital room and told me I’d be dead in five years if I didn’t lose weight and keep it off.
Right at that moment, whatever wind was in my sails went dormant. It seemed there was no hope. I was dead in the water. I was weak around sugars, breads, cakes, pastries and donuts. Eating those things for 30 years had effectively signed my death certificate and yet I felt I couldn’t live without them.
I had a family, loving husband, son and daughter. I wasn’t ready to die. Still, one thing I knew for sure, I was weak and I was a food addict.
Strength In What Was Killing Me?
Where did I carry my strength? Up until that moment I thought I carried it in the foods I loved more than life. I thought they gave me strength to face the stress, overwhelm and problems of life. That lie came crashing down that day.
The temptations I was willingly giving into were orchestrated by the evil one to kill, steal and destroy me, to eradicate any trace of me from the earth. In my despair I remembered, I did have one weapon in my arsenal. I had the Word in my heart.
It really doesn’t matter what plans the evil one had for me because John 10:10 told me that Jesus came to give me life, overflowing, abundant, more than I could possibly contain.
I remembered that Paul agreed with me and felt he was weak too. Funny thing, though, it was only because Paul recognized that he was weak and very human that he learned the secret of true strength.
God Himself made it clear to Paul when He said, “My grace is sufficient for you. My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation; for My power is being perfected and is completed and shows itself most effectively in your weakness.” (2 Cor.12:9 AMP).
Is God strong all the time? Of course He is. Then why did He need Paul to be weak before His strength could be revealed? Because as long as Paul was doing things on his own, he got the credit. As soon as Paul admitted His weakness and accepted God’s grace to help him, all of Heaven came to his aid and God got the glory.
Paul went on to say, “When I am weak in human strength, then I am strong, truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength,” (2 Cor. 12:10 AMP)
I Am Weak So He Can Be Strong In Me
In that hospital bed in 1999, I admitted my weakness to God. I told Him I had no earthly idea how to lose even 100 pounds and keep it off, much less the mountain of weight I needed to lose.
It was an impossible task that I wasn’t even trying to do. It was like attempting to move a mountain with a tiny plastic spoon. It was the first time, though, that I was willing to recognize that I needed God if this task was going to be done.
Where do I carry my strength? I don’t. He does. All I have to do is rely on Him. All I have to do is not try to be the strong one. I let Him to do what He does best and I do what I was designed to do—follow Him.
It’s Time For You to Answer
It’s time for me to answer. Where do you carry your strength? Do you carry it in your ability to struggle and power through temptation, beating the devil away with a stick? Do you carry it in thinking you got yourself into this mess and you have to get yourself out? Do you carry it in not caring if you live or die?
There is a better way. Just surrender it all to God. Admit everything you’ve done. Grieve and mourn for what has happened and then, turn and follow Him. Ask for His help. He’s always ready to give it.
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