God’s love and human ability. They don’t seem linked, do they? When I used to feel frustration at my inability to perceive God’s love, never did my own strength—or lack thereof—factor into my thinking.
Wow, has God been showing me a lot about strength. And weakness. Physical, spiritual, mental…
So, a little backstory:
I’ve not acquired the nickname Helga sarcastically. Though I was the youngest child and only daughter, my family never showed special treatment when it came to splitting firewood, hauling rocks, building, or helping my dad with his handyman jobs. In fact, I wouldn’t let anyone treat me as weaker. When necessary, I did my best to keep up with my dad and brother as we worked on our ranch and tamed a small wilderness. It was exhausting, but I would have been disappointed in myself if I couldn’t perform.
Take that mindset of “just do it” and apply it spiritually, and you get a spirituality rooted in determination. That’s why I often find myself with my spiritual shoulder to the wheel, pushing at something for all it’s worth, convinced it’s up to me to (fill in the blank).
It might not come as a surprise that, after a lifetime of relying on my own strength, I find myself wondering why I regularly cry out to God, “I’m so tired!”
Then I learned something powerful:
We can only give to God what originates with Him.
Breath, worship, service, love, you name it.
It’s exhausting for us and unsatisfying to God when we try to love Him with our own strength. Or serve Him. Or be “good Christians.” God looks at the heart, and He is more than capable of making us into what we need to be for His use. Outwardly, our strength can fulfill the technical definition of service. But inwardly, over a period of time, if our actions do not originate with God and are not based in His strength and therefore His will, it’s downright exhausting.
I’ve not mastered this concept, only identified it. But I am learning to surrender to His will, notice when I’m working in my own strength, and acknowledge that I don’t need to work for His love.
Now it’s your turn: in what ways do you find yourself operating in your strength rather than God’s? Maybe it’s where you’re most tired? How do you daily surrender your will and accept His strength?