June 27

“The Lord hath sent strength for thee.” Psalm 68:28, PBV

The Lord imparts unto us that primary strength of character which makes everything in life work with intensity and decision. We are “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” And the strength is continuous; reserves of power come to us which we cannot exhaust. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be”—strength of will, strength of affection, strength of judgment, strength of ideals and achievement.

“The Lord is my strength” to go on. He gives us power to tread the dead level, to walk the long lane that seems never to have a turning, to go through those long reaches of life which afford no pleasant surprise, and which depress the spirits in the sameness of a terrible drudgery. (Streams in the Desert)

Our oldest grandchild is a strapping teenage boy who now stands a good bit taller than either my wife or myself. I love observing positive development in him, most of which is a delightful personality spiced with playful wit. He and I enjoy friendly banter laced with a competitive edge, often transposing into head-to-head challenge. On vacation the other day he bragged to my wife that he is now much stronger than I am, to which I promptly responded with a push-up challenge. I dropped to the hotel carpet and rifled off two sets of 20, ending with a grin and parting shot something to the effect that “I may not be as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.” I was admittedly quite pleased with myself; that is, until the next morning when I could barely lift my arms to brush my teeth and dress myself. Momentary bursts of physical exertion do not equal strength.

When I trust intermittent bursts of independent spiritual exertion to carry me through crises, I quickly deplete all reserves and am left sore and vulnerable. The moment I relinquish control and allow the Lord to save more than my soul, I find an inexhaustible cache of spiritual fortitude that carries me through belligerent seas and deposits me safely onshore. Trust equals security with no negative after-effects. I will never be strong enough to conquer the demons that dog my past and threaten my future. Christ does not call us to “man-up” when trouble finds us; instead, He demands we step aside and allow Him to fight the battle for us. “The Lord is my strength.”

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