"What is that sigh for?" My husband calls from the other room alerting me to the air I exhaled. I thought it had been internal. I thought the worries of the week ahead were contained in head not leaking audibly out my mouth. I had been looking at my week wondering how to get the to-do list done. Wondering what I could scratch off the list and realizing that the list was already down to only things-that-must-done.
I don’t know if you find this to be true, but I find some days are just hard. On the days when I wake up, and wonder how I’ll make it through the day, I’ve learned to rally myself by quoting Judges 6:14, “Go with the strength you have.”
I love this verse. And I love the story behind it. God spoke these words to a man called Gideon. Gideon found himself in a pretty impossible situation. In Judges 6 you can read about how an angel came to Gideon and told him to fight the Midianites who at the time were enslaving the Israelites.
Gideon is unsure about why God chooses him to undertake this hard task. He questions God, and he goes on to test God, but what I love is how God replies, how God tells Gideon that he won’t succeed because he is a mighty warrior, but because God goes with him.
I love that Gideon’s story recognizes strength isn’t always mighty or brave or confident.
Sometimes strength is trusting that God is sending me even when I’d rather run from a situation.
Sometimes strength is moving forward, even at a crawl.
Sometimes strength resides in small actions, in walking out the door, in kind words.
Sometimes strength is believing God’s power comes into it’s own in my weakness.
Sometimes strength is going anyway.
Sometimes strength is doing the next small thing.
And sometimes doing the next small thing is all I need to do to see God’s strength come into its own in my weakness. But other times I can’t see God’s strength in my weakness, and that is when I reach for my Bible and imagine Paul is praying Colossians 1:10-12 (MSG) over me:
We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul...
Strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy…
Strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that the Father has for you.
As I pray this verse in my head I begin to feel that the long-list of things I have to do– the minor things and the major things – can be achieved if I ask God for strength.
I look at the list again and I pray for strength, not the kind of strength that has me gritting my teeth but the kind of strength that spills over into joy.
God is strong when we are weak and at his weakest his strength makes our strongest moment look like baby struggling to stand on it’s own two feet.
God’s strength is the kind of strength I need as I sigh about the week. It’s the kind of strength that gives me the ability to face my to-do list and make it through hard-days. The glory-strength God gives, is the kind of strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy.
If you need the kind of strength only God gives, please join me in this prayer:
Lord Jesus, give me the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting my teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes me strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for me. Jesus, give me strength in my weakness. Amen.
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Wendy van Eyck is married to Xylon, who talks non-stop about cycling, and makes her laugh. She writes for anyone who has ever held a loved one’s hand through illness, ever believed in God despite hard circumstances or ever left on a spontaneous 2-week holiday through a foreign land with just a backpack. You can follow Wendy’s story and subscribe to receive her free ebook, “Life, life and more life” at ilovedevotionals.com. She would also love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
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