It’s Friday night, and I’m sitting here like a slug.
It was such an intense work week, that I’m so incredibly relieved that the weekend is here. I won’t go through the gory details here, I already expressed some of them in my previous post titled “What a Week!”. But I will say that I’ve learned a lot about something I already thought I knew a lot about.
That just goes to show you how arrogant I can be. Just when I think I have something all figured out, God comes along and teaches me that no, I don’t. I don’t have it figured out. And then I have to rely on Him even more. And when I let go of my pride and arrogance, it is then that I am taught.
Most of you know some of my story. The tremendous grief our family has experienced; my journey from alcoholism and agnosticism to being free from alcohol and becoming a believer and follower of Christ. And there is so much more. Much, much more that I can not share in this forum.
Sometimes I’m asked how I remain strong. I’m not. I am not a strong person. I am weak. I am sinful. I am a failure. But something that God made plainly aware to me this week is that in the midst of great crises (or work stress that befell me this week), it is He who is our strength. It is He who gives us the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To keep going, when physically exhausted, mentally tried, spiritually burdened–He steps in and is our strength when we think we can go no further.
He has been my strength this week. And I don’t know that I would have recognized it if I had not stopped and looked at scripture and found this:
How does this strength work? It works only by the grace that is in Jesus. Only by His grace. Since becoming a believer, I have realized that it is only by His grace that I am alive; that I am living and standing and breathing. But this week He taught me a new layer of strength–that of practical, real strength that comes when my strength is gone. When I’ve sat at my desk for 19 straight hours. When I’ve not had any sleep in over 72 hours. When complex math problems finally make sense–only because His grace has allowed a clear mind and a new perspective through which to look at the numbers.
So tonight I end this week in joy. Joy that I have a job that I love, even after weeks like this week. Joy that it is the weekend and there will be time for catching up on all that has been neglected this week. That there will, I pray, be sleep. Rest. Time with my crew. And a spiritual renewal to tackle whatever next week brings our way.
He longs to strengthen you, too. Has it been a trying week? Are you tired? Are you discouraged? The grace that is in Jesus can strengthen you. That is His desire, because He loves you.
I’m also joyful tonight after picking up 45 brand new books for The Messages Project, which provides books for inmates to read to their children, then tapes those readings and sends the taping and the book to the inmates son or daughter, ages birth through 13. This is a tremendous program. My dining room looks like a library–I can’t wait to deliver these books next week to the Messages Office. They will be loved and cherished both by the incarcerated parents and the children who will receive them. If you’d like to donate or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Joy. I often find joy elusive and life overwhelming. That is truth. But tonight my soul is overwhelmed with joy. Joy that God would grant me the strength needed to get through this week, that He longs to grant this strength to others through His grace, and joy for the opportunity to serve and minister to children of incarcerated parents–and to the inmates themselves.
I am blessed.