October 13, 2015

What It Really Means to Be Strong

Our culture really values strength -- especially in women.

I mean, don't we all long to be seen as a strong person, someone who can handle whatever life throws at us and make it through -- no matter how difficult the trial?

Strength has been on my mind lately, because I've been dreaming up a character who values strength in herself. She has always seen herself as strong. And it made me think -- what does it mean to be strong?

I remember when my mom was dying from cancer and people would tell me how strong I was. And I thought, really? You think I'm strong? I was sitting there doubting whether God even existed and nearly cursing His name -- but it was all on the inside. No one knew. So they thought I was strong because I was surviving.

I looked strong on the outside. But there's a difference between looking strong and actually being strong.

Then, yesterday morning, this verse popped up on my Bible app: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might." (Ephesians 6:10)

Coincidence? I think not.

So what does it mean to be strong? I'm guessing it has something to do with relying on the Lord. Leaning into Him when we're too weak to stand on our own. Allowing Him to be our shield against the rain and wind that pelt us and threaten to snap us in half.

And ultimately, being okay with our own weaknesses.

I'm not so good at that last one. But admitting that we are weak actually enhances His strength in us.

For as Paul said in 2 Corinthians: "And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

Friend, embrace your weaknesses. They are not weakness like the world sees it. They are opportunities to rest in the Lord and in the power of His might.

*Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful post Lindsay. You are so right. Sometimes He uses our greatest trials to make us strong in ways we never, ever expected. And then help others with those lessons, too.

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    1. Such a good reminder that through trials can come the strengthening of our spirits...and in turn, we can use that strength to help others through similar waters. Thanks for visiting, Elizabeth!

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