26 October 2011

Impossible strength

I was on my way to a lecture, feeling overburdened by my thoughts - as I am apt to do - and listening to Gungor.  The song was "Please Be My Strength."  The chorus, in the first part of the song, is:

Please be my strength 
Please be my strength
'Cause I don't have anymore
I don't have anymore

Then, in the latter half, it changes:

I pray your glory shines
In this doubting heart of mine
And all would know that You

You are my strength
You are my strength
You and you alone
You keep bringing me back home

I've probably heard this song a hundred times (in truth - no exaggeration here) and loved it every time.  But for some reason, today, it stopped me - almost literally, on the sidewalk.

God is my strength.

The God who created the world in a breath, who redeemed it and defeated death, who is ultimately sovereign and victorious - HE is my strength.  In ME, small weak insignificant me, is that strength.

It's all over Scripture:

"The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation" - Exodus 15:2

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." - Isaiah 41:10

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." - Ephesians 3:14-19

(ESV, boldening mine)

These are just 3 places among many - and I couldn't help but include the surrounding verses in the Ephesians 3 passage, because it so wonderfully explains the nature and purpose and power of God's strength in us.

Today I was tired and frustrated; I didn't understand the readings for my lectures and I'm having trouble getting to sleep at night.  I'm still not used to being alone, living in a city, living in a foreign country, feeling stranded.  I've been dwelling on all these things, instead of bowing before the Father, like Paul says in the above passage.  Instead of being rooted and grounded in love.  Instead of being filled with the fullness of God.

 I can be filled with the fullness of God???

C.S. Lewis says in The Weight of Glory:

Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak.  We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imaging what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.  We are far too easily pleased.

I will never in this life comprehend the grace he has given me - he's given me all things! - or be able to properly express the depth of my gratitude.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You chose one of my all-time favorite C.S. Lewis quotes, from one of my all-time favorite books by Lewis! I always enjoy his analogies. They make such sense to me.