Strong Enough

Do you ever wonder why God gives us (what seems like) more than we can handle? We have all experienced a time in our life - and if you haven't, you are lying - where we couldn't see the other side of the dark tunnel. And from my experience, that is the scariest place to be. I just heard Matthew West's song "Strong Enough" on the radio as I was running errands. I had heard this song years ago at a time when my family was falling apart. This song sings the tune that currently resides in my heart.

"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 up. I'm not strong enough.
Hands of mercy, wont you cover me? 
Lord, right now I'm asking you to be strong enough, strong enough for the both of us."

I love the line later in the song when he sings "when I'm finally at rock bottom, thats when I start looking up." I have experienced many hardships, just as everyone else has. During these times it always seems that events, comments, and even people will challenge your worth and it's hard not to accept the lies. But as painful as those times can be, there is so much growth that comes out of it. I have been told that if I have to wade through the muck of sin and hardship, I shouldn't miss the gold, opportunities, and lessons along the way. Our heavenly creator longs to scoop us up and provide for us what we need, exactly when we need it - if we have willing hearts that are searching for Him. Looking up for Him. You ARE called blessed, forgiven, beloved, and redeemed NOT unloved, unworthy, forgotten, or lost.

I have recently learned more and more about contentment. In our culture it is common (and even encouraged) to look for the greener grass. Job? House? Kids? Spouse? Ministry? But from what I have gathered over the last couple of months, and in my study of Ruth, is that longing for the next best thing only creates a life of insecurity. What I have isn't good enough. I'm not good enough. But that person over there is good enough.

One of my biggest struggles is comparison. Sound familiar? I think most women struggle with this. Comparison makes you weak and susceptible to the lies of your worth and what you can/can't handle. I love this quote from Beth Moore's study on the book of James: "... we can do our level best not to compare ourselves with those of similar gifting or calling, and others will leap forward to do it for us. Stand back and watch how many observers will try to nudge you into a competition with someone who fills a similar slot. The idea is that anything comparable is automatically competitive." She goes on to say, "God's way of reaching the big, needy world is to enlist every one of us to do our parts in love and humility, variety and diversity." I have now accepted the truth that my gifts and talents are needed. God uses us right where we are. Don't underestimate what you are capable of doing and how your gifts can further the kingdom of God.

This is a strange window of time in my life and I just know that the Lord is using it to create in me a content heart. I'm defined not by my actions, the mistakes I have made, the good works I have done, or how much laundry I have folded. My worth is defined by the blood of Christ. I am His. He is using me for His kingdom and I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

I pray that this gives some encouragement. Please know that no matter your job, marital status, or place of residence that you are LOVED. The work you do is noticed and appreciated. Keep on keeping on.

And to my sisters in Christ, lets stand by one another. Lets love one another instead of comparing or creating competition. We are ALL needed, valued, and important. God Bless!

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