Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day Two: Strength

The WORD of the Day

"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" 
--Matthew 19:26*

*Note: Those of you accustomed to the traditional translations of the Bible know the red letters well. For those of you less familiar, red is traditionally used to delineate quotations of the actual words spoken by Jesus, versus the words of the Biblical writers.

Let Me Give You a Lift:

Few things offer hope like the thought of a God in charge of our world for whom all things are possible. No matter how low life brings us, or how confusing we find this world we are living in, or how unclimable we think the mountains in our lives are, there is literally nothing too hard for God.  It's a pretty awesome power to tap into, and if you're capable of prayer (simply put, talking to God about what you need) you are capable of accessing it.

Many times when we are really struggling, or suffering heartbreak or a great loss, people offer words of encouragement along these lines: "God won't give you more than you can handle."  It's not that those words are untrue or that they don't offer some degree of comfort. But I wonder how many people, when saying them, realize that they are only true because with God all things are possible.  God can help you through anything.  It is absolutely right to use these words--and others like them--to let someone know how strong you think they are, or to encourage them to stay strong (because really, all they mean is 'hang in there, you'll be ok').  But I think that it is equally important, especially when reaching out to someone struggling, that we also remind people where to lean for additional strength.  

Often when people are most in need of that awesome power is when they are least capable of accessing it for themselves.  Maybe they aren't close to God and don't know where to start a prayer. Maybe they just can't even put the words together.  I've been there.  The things is, God hears the prayer whoever the speaker is, and understands it whatever the words are.  There were times this year when I couldn't put words together and reached out to some of you for prayers, and I can't tell you how grateful I have been for the times when you were my mouthpiece, or even a voice to pray with me.  Sometimes, a hurting person needs help asking for help, and sometimes a person just needs many voices speaking their words.  

Encourage people to be strong.  Be a voice when they need it. And if YOU need any of these things, reach out! It is an honor to pray for a friend in need, so never be afraid to ask in the situations where you happen to be that person. I'm here. So are others. We're all stronger together.

And always remember where to lean, because with God all things are possible. 

Give it a Listen:

The song I chose for today is Matthew West's “Strong Enough”. It captures the very sentiment we are talking about--letting God take over when we don't think we can do it on our own.  Honestly, the lyrics to this song are, in themselves, a pretty beautiful prayer. So if you are looking for a place to start, this is a good one.


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