With the perturbing afternoon I’d been having, I clicked through on the ESV Bible site for their devotions on my phone. I went straight to today’s "Daily Light", and it almost brought me to tears, like a sucker punch I just really was not ready for.
“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, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.—With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.—The gospel . . . is the power of God for salvation.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.—I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.—But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”—May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.
Eph. 6:10; 2 Cor. 12:9, 10; Ps. 71:16; Rom. 1:16; Phil. 4:13; Col. 1:29; 2 Cor. 4:7; Neh. 8:10; Col. 1:11
I don’t know if I can adequately convey what these verses made me feel, what these words are doing inside me right now. Part of me wants to rest in the promises, knowing full-well that God means to be all this and more. But part of me is just pissed off, not that easily blown off and laid aside. That’s the verbose blogging side right now, by the way. Some things are going very well, but some things are just really stressful right now. Work is good, and I am really glad we’re getting some good things done on this trip. But other tasks are just weighing on me for what’s needed. Then there’s church, where we’ve got good understanding encouraging friendships, and where I’ve also got such a pile of angst built up that it’s completely overwhelming.
My family is great, the real shiny bright spot in everything that is Rick’s Life right now. And I am so sorry, feeling like I am letting them down by being on the road, being stressed, being pissed, being unavailable and so not in the moment. I can honestly say that right now I feel the best I have ever felt about our marriage, our kids, growing old together, sharing life and all that comes with – but I also feel like what I’m bringing to that table, all the baggage I’m lugging, is wearing a rut in the carpet, wearing out the floorboards in the front hall.
Back to those verses, and how that are backhanding me right now. Because I know it is His strength, His joy, His more than sufficient grace. And I get the feeling that "this jar of clay", all this stuff and stress and sludge, all this is what makes that all the more real and … see that last part? His grace and power and all sufficient stuff is for endurance, it’s for patience, it’s for putting up with all the stuff I’m putting up with. It’s not taking any of it away, and I actually have to endure and be patient in order to see His hand at all. "I can do all things… toiling… struggling…" – no one gave me those pages in the rulebook when I signed up for this. Someone left that part out. I don’t mind that we’re here, don’t care that we’ve ended up at this spot in the journey. I just wish someone had done a better job with the head’s up.
So my prayer this evening, as I keep working a bit and suck it up and get on with what needs me – my prayer is that tonight I embrace all of the above. The struggle and the toil alongside the sufficient grace and strength and power of God.