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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weak and Strong

I wrote a few posts about the words choice and force a few years back, you can find them in the archives if your interested. Singing a worship song today in service made me think of these 2 words and the meaning they hold. The song said how we are weak and He is strong. So true. Scripture is filled with mentions of our weakness and how Gods strength will empower us and He will be glorified in our weakness. I thought about our western and particularly american mindset of rugged individualism and how we believe we need to be strong to take care of life, in all its facets. Do we struggle to admit that we are weak??? Aren't we called to be strong in faith and courage as firm believers??? i think as in so many things there is tension there. Jesus likes to be similar to alice in wonderland whats up is down whats right is left. We need to balance strength and weakness.

I had another way of looking at my challenge with fear. Jesus asked the Father if possible, that the cup be taken away, meaning the death He was going to face. In His humanness Jesus wanted to avoid the pain and suffering and separation of death, but He said Gods will be done and followed it. I have had such a hard time figuring out the interplay between natural human fear and reluctance to die and the promise and assurance God gives ultimately. I think I placed an overemphasis on being fully free from fear in a way God did not ask for. I just felt such relief inside hearing about Jesus human struggle in the garden. That is why Jesus identifies with every single thing we go through, mind will and emotions.

Suffering is a reality and one God uses for His purposes, which none of us can fully grasp or comprehend, we are just limited by our finiteness. There is a natural desire to avoid,escape and be free from suffering, but God supersedes that desire and allows us to undergo it, and He says it for our ultimate good as well. A pocket within the church has taught a prosperity gospel which teaches God wants us healthy,wealthy and free from problems. i am sure most quickly disavow this teaching, but it can sneak in underneath our radar in ways we do not catch. I know my lifelong battle with fear and wanting to avoid suffering and pain has placed me in a stance that puts selfconcern over Gods sovereign control and purpose, not in a direct way that i cross my arms and defy God, but just in my wanting to be pain free. In the times when i have experienced pain and suffering, I usually experience a closer intimacy with God and even other people in ways that don't happen otherwise normally. The resistance is still there though.

Do you have this tension??? Do you struggle to accept both your strengths and weaknesses??? Do you fight God internally over facing suffering of some kind??? I hope to learn more to accept the strengths He has given me as opposed to focusing on the weaknesses and tough parts. Sometimes life feels too overwhelming, but He calls and says He will never leave or forsake us and so life gets lived.


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