There is so much more to all of this...
Sometimes we catch a glimpse, seeing how certain things are connected. We get a special peak behind a curtain, and it rocks our world, changing everything we do, what we say and the direction we move. This glimpse was offered to me, and I looked, and I love it. Stay with me here, I'll explain...
We exist in a world of hard truths. We work hard to make ends meet. The kids are loud, irritating and always fighting. Relationships are strained. We struggle. We push. We try to simply survive. We're worn out often and the second we're in the car alone and a particular song comes on, we burst into tears.
This is hard. Life is hard.
What we need is strength. We need a strength that penetrates deep, making dead muscles move and blood flow vigorously. You see, there is so much more to strength than we realize. This is what I recognized when the veil was pulled back for me.
Physical & Spiritual Strength
There is physical and spiritual strength, and we need them both. Physical strength we perceive as having capable bodies that can move well, produce power and have stamina. Muscles, right? Spiritual strength we perceive as fortitude, perseverance, even an unbreakable will.
One strength can exist without the other. Step into any gym today, walk up to the strongest girl you can find, and ask her about life. Behind the push-ups and squats, she could be completely falling apart on the inside, broken and weary.
Her physical strength is not an indicator of how strong she really feels.
And the opposite is true, of course. You can be spiritually strong, but have a body that is crumbling apart.
Both of these kinds of strength we can attempt to muster op on our own, by training hard enough and exercising our will. Is this even possible? Can we create true strength under our own volition? Can I make myself a Strong Momma?
Does strength actually come from within? Perhaps...but perhaps not. Scripture says, "The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation." (Exodus 15:2) "The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped." (Psalm 28:7). True strength, an all-encompassing strength, a deeply penetrating strength, comes from the Lord. He is my strength. Not me.
Isaiah poetically and beautifully wrote about strength in one of my favorite passages (reading this from the Message makes it come alive a bit more)...
"Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or whine, Israel, saying 'God has lost track of me. He doesn't care what happens to me'? Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening? God doesn't come and go. God lasts. He's Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind." (Isaiah 40:28-31 MSG, emphasis mine)
God Almighty never becomes physically faint or spiritually weary. His strength is beyond comprehension and He offers this same strength to us. The imagery is full of hope and joy. How can you not read Isaiah's words and long for this yourself?!
Physical and spiritual strength go hand in hand, and both come from the Lord. The separation between the two grows fainter the more this is realized. God Himself empowers my muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones with the capacity to perform; and He is also empowering my soul with hope, joy and perseverance. Because we can comprehend the physical, tangible strengthening so much easier, this may serve as an image, a likeness of the soul strengthening God offers.
Perservering with True Strength "Let us run with endurance the race set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith". (Hebrews 12:1,2)
During my years training for marathons, this verse was my mantra. With my gaze fixed on Jesus, I was able to keep running, through the ache, the pain and the fatigue. The course was laid out and He gave me just enough strength to cross the finish line.
Obviously, "the race" is not just a road race. It's life. From the moment we are conceived until the day we die, we are set on a course. The strength and endurance to finish the race well comes from Jesus, our Lord.
Through the hard truths of life, the sadness, the loss, the weariness, the fatigue, fix your eyes on Jesus, knowing that your strength, both physical and spiritual, comes from Him alone.