Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Strength You Have

‘Pardon me, my Lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, “Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?” But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.’ The Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’
Judges 6:13‭-‬14

Go in the strength you have.

I had a light bulb moment this morning, hiding in the loo from the children and reading the Bible on my phone. I've been struggling again with not being enough, not feeling good enough to carry out the tasks and mission to which God has called me, wondering whether He has called me at all or whether I'm just flailing around, playing at life, soon to be caught out, the search light resting on my terrified, frozen face. You see, I'm tired. Dog tired. Retreating to horizontal on the sofa as soon as (equally exhausted) The Mister walks through the door - tired. I am a fraud who cannot manage to do it all, whose husband has to step in and do the lion's share in the evenings and weekends, because I cannot stay vertical. I am not enough. Literally. I am absent from my children's lives most evenings. I feel guilty. My children are missing out and The Mister rarely gets a break. I know I'm probably not that lazy, but it feels like I'm just being lazy and I just need to pull my socks up. That is the narrative.

Go in the strength you have. Am I not sending you?

Oh-kaaaay. So God's got this, my meagre attempt at mothering, my children, my poor neglected husband, my physical inability to invest as much as I'd like in relationships with family and friends. The whole thing. Me. He knows. He sees. He loves. He equips. He is the strength. My limited physical strength is no hindrance. I have to go, to step out. If he is sending me on a mission, whatever that mission is, staying put and not stepping out is not an option.

But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

I don't know how this will end up working for our family, our children. I can't see the end. But I can trust, and it is very freeing. It's not about me at all, after all. God gave us those 4 precious ones to look after, but He also gave them a mother who wasn't always going to fire on all cylinders. He also gave them a father who would just get on with it, quietly serving faithfully with no fuss.

The power of Christ rests on me and I honestly don't believe that God is in the business of trying to catch people out, to make them look bad. God is not into schadenfreude. My feelings of guilt are misplaced, their root either in my pride - because I want to do it all, to be good enough, to excel on my own - and can't; or it is because I have listened to the Accuser of the Brethren whose narrative is never in my best interests and who wants me to get distracted and wants me to believe all kinds of things about what I should be doing or being.

It's not easy, but it is simple, uncomplicated. Before we go out on whatever our mission is, before we make breakfast and herd a pack of kids to school, being still even for a moment works wonders. Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10) "Yes, yes, well it's easy to be still when you're horizontal a lot of the time. You're literally still." Yes you are, physically. There's more to it than that though. Turn off the telly, the radio. Put your phone down! Pick up your Bible. Pray during the racing thoughts. Keep praying until you are still. Be still. Be it. Then, don't empty your mind, fill it. Fill it with Christ, with His Word, the Bible. Know Him. Know that He is God. I speak to myself and for my benefit here too. Hide in the loo if you must. Be still and know that He is God. He loves, He speaks, He is the strength for the mission.

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