The Illusion of Strength
Having returned from spending an entire day painting our rental apartment, I awoke this morning feeling tired and sore in places that I had forgotten existed. As I struggled with the fact that I would indeed have to get up out of bed, I thought of a thousand excuses to just stay put. It would have been so much easier to have just hired someone to do this work. I could have then avoided the after effects I was now experiencing! It occurs to me that most of modern life, in fact, consists of conveniences designed to minimize such physical work. As a result, we are increasingly a society growing flabby and weak in both body and soul.
Physical exhaustion now and then either from overworking or perhaps from a period of illness or incapacitation, can sometimes serve as a reminder to us that we are not superhuman. That we have limitations. That our bodies are aging. That most of the time our faith in our own strength is really just an illusion. The truth of the matter is that one unfortunate accident or illness can side line us indefinitely. However, most of the time we live as if we are indestructible and can do anything, accomplish anything, if we just push ourselves hard enough.
The reality is that this is not so. Floods, hurricanes, and tornados are powerful reminders of nature how the seemingly indestructible can perish. In our own lives, an illness, an accident, the loss of employment, death of a family member, a economic downturn, a divorce- these can all test the limits of our strength and endurance. For many of us, it is only such drastic events as these which force us to turn to God and acknowledge our weakness and need. It is only in these circumstances when we cry out to Him. And sadly, once our world is righted again, we forget how much we truly need Him, and it’s back to business as usual. The illusion of strength returns…..
How wise are those who live in constant dependency upon Him! Blessed are those who remember daily their own insufficiency for all things and rely upon His grace and abiding love to navigate every circumstance in their lives. They have relinquished the illusion of strength and embraced weakness. And it is in this weakness that His strength is made perfect! Amen.