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Strong Enough - February 2012

I used to attend a class at a local gym called "Power."  We did dynamic weight lifting and by the end of the class almost every muscle in my body was shaking.  After weeks of training, I started seeing real results!  I could lift my kids and carry big bags of groceries with ease.  My back hurt less and I had more energy.

It's been years since I was in that kind of shape, and it was apparent last week when our family moved into a new home.  The reality of my physical weakness hit me head on.  Furniture, beds, boxes and books all proved too much for me to lift.  Even the smaller loads I carried made my back hurt!  My heart was willing, but my body wasn't.

I became keenly aware of my physical inadequacy.  At the same time, I've come face to face with the frailty of my emotions.  Most of the time I feel emotionally strong.  I'm thankful for a faith that grants me the peace I need, and a perspective that keeps the important things in focus. Three weeks ago I was making last minute preparations for the Inheritance of Hope (IOH) Legacy Retreat at Disney World and encountered some circumstances that left me feeling very weak. My faith and my perspective were both shaken for a while.  Over the next 2 weeks, six of the families who were confirmed to attend the retreat canceled due to acute illness or death.  On the Tuesday right before the Legacy Retreat, we lost two families in two hours 2 hours, and then we received the call that Deric and Kristen Milligan, IOH's founders and inspiration, were also unable to come due to Kristen's declining health.

I felt sad. Overwhelmed.  Heavy-hearted.  I felt weak.
 
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy-burdened and I will give you rest."
 
Rest is exactly what I needed.  But, I didn't know how.  There was plenty more work to do.  I still had to coordinate a Legacy Retreat for the other 12 families who were able to attend.  I couldn't rest, could I?
 
In Philippians 4:13, Paul proclaims, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."  I've read that scripture verse many times and believed it.  And over the last several weeks, I've clung to it.  I was UNABLE to continue on in my own strength.  Why had I even been trying?  Christ GIVES strength.
 
I asked, and He faithfully provided.
 
I COULD rest in Christ's strength.  His power that was being made perfect in my weakness. (2. Corinthians 12:9)
 
Are you strong enough for whatever you're facing?
 
A friend shared this song with me.  It's a plea for strength.  When you find yourself in a spot where you recognize your weakness, I pray you'll realize the only source of real strength and let Him be strong enough for you.
 
Strong Enough, By Matthew West

You must

You must think I'm strong

To give me what I'm going through

 

Well, forgive me

Forgive me if I'm wrong

But this looks like more than I can do

On my own

 

I know I'm not strong enough to be

everything that I'm supposed to be

I give upI'm not strong enough

Hands of mercy won't you cover me

Lord right now I'm asking you to be

Strong enough

Strong enough

For the both of us

 

Well, maybe

Maybe that's the point

To reach the point of giving up

 

Cause when I'm finally

Finally at rock bottom

Well, that's when I start looking up

And reaching out

 

I know I'm not strong enough to be

Everything that I'm supposed to be

I give upI'm not strong enough

Hands of mercy won't you cover me

 

Lord right now I'm asking you to be

Strong enough

Strong enough

 

Cause I'm broken

Down to nothing

But I'm still holding on to the one thing

You are God

and you are strong

When I am weak

 

I can do all things

Through Christ who gives me strength

And I don't have to be

Strong enough

Strong enough