Thursday, May 03, 2007

Where do you get your strength?

People don't ever want to be thought of as weak. Consequently, many people don't seek help when they need it. We picture strong people being those who can do it on their own. We are taught from a young age to be able to pull your own weight, and not to rely on others.
For many, they think that religion is a crutch for the weak. Those who can't live their life on their own need a "god" who can help them get through. In those times when you are struggling, then call on god and get the help you need.
But the truth is, even if you don't believe in God, we all need help at some time. There are things that we cannot do alone. For example, let's say that you are moving. There are many things you can move yourself, but what about the couch, or the entertainment center, or the refrigerator? You need help to move these things, so you call some friends to help you. Are you weak because your friends have to help you carry these items? Most people would say "no."
So why are you weak when you seek the help of others in emotional matters, or for advice, or for support? The truth is, our make-up is such that it is good to seek the help of others. We are designed in a way that we actually desire the connection of others.
The Bible let's us know this early on, when we are told in Genesis 2:20-23 "20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." We are created to be in partnership with others. This is not a sign of weaknesses, but adds to our strength.
On top of this, we are created to be in relationship with God. This too adds to our strength. We do not seek God because we are incapable of living life alone, but because this fulfills who we are. In that relationship, God walks with us and helps us. Joshua 1:9 tells us,
"9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Just as a child is strengthened in their courage with the help and presence of their parents, so we are strengthened by the knowledge of God's help and presence.
Where do you get your strength? For me it is in my relationship with God, and knowing that God walks with me. Share your comments by clicking on the "comments" button below.

1 comment:

Mary Uht said...

When you talked about seeking help being a sign of weakness, I am reminded of when Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives (Luke 22:42-43)

42"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 43An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.

When Jesus was being tempted by Satan in the desert, after the devil left him, angels came and attended to him. Jesus accepted help from heaven.

Again, at the time of his arrest in the Garden (Jesus could have called to God for back-up assistance, but instead told the soldiers to put away their swords because he had no intention of fighting back in order to fulfill the Scriptures:

52"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?" (Matthew 26:52-54)

People often ask the question "What would Jesus do?" If Jesus -- God in the flesh -- received strength from angels (messengers of God), then we have no basis for thinking that we are above going to God to ask for strength.

For more of my thoughts on strength in weakness, go to