God is always trying to teach us two things: 1) you can do it, 2) you can’t do it.
This is the great wave of God’s love that beats on us all our life: pouring in and sucking out. Desolation and consolation. Breaking down and building up. Wounding and blessing. Suffering and healing. Crucifixion and resurrection. No doubt we would all rather have the good without the bad, but here our minds are like a thimble beneath a waterfall: God’s wisdom is far beyond our capacity. Both sides of this wave are God loving us. It is all part of the cure that we so desperately need. We can confidently submit to it all, because in all of it we are being loved by our Father, who knows what we need. Thus Job can say:
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21)
Likewise, as we shoot out into our lives to live for Him, to die for Him, to bring others to Him, to bring life where there is death, to fight for good, to ‘love the least of these,’ it does us well to proceed with tremendous confidence and tremendous humility.
We should be deeply encouraged because we can “do all things in him who strengthens” us (Phil. 4:13). All things! I think that covers everything. But, we should be deeply aware of our total inability, weakness and vulnerability “for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Nothing. I think that covers everything too.
As we increasingly say, “Take it all!” He will
- Do far more through us than we could have hoped (God is really big)
- Take us further and further down into the depths of our weakness, staring more firmly on our imperfections and lacks. He will challenges us, more than we ever thought we could handle, to boast in our weakness.
It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply. (A.W. Tozer)
So, come, fear not your weakness. Fear not the mountain before you. Lay down your inability, your brokenness, your sins and watch them mysterious become “all things” in His Blood. Lay on the altar day after day and be transformed into a lover. For, in all the Lord works – the crucifixion and resurrection – is love.
May we be encouraged this day. We can do it – for we are more than conquerors!
May we not be afraid to live in our utter weakness. We can’t do it – for we are weak, weary and totally dependent sinners.
And may all of this reverberate to the praise and glory of Jesus, our Lord.