God Gives Strength, but We Don’t Always Notice.

It’s back again, as it custom every few weeks or so. The headaches. The muscle and joint aches and extreme fatigue. The nausea and appetite loss. The insomnia. The chest pain and arrhythmia. It’s the natural result of taking on too much, and taking on too much is my lot in life, it seems.

God gives strength, doesn’t He? I don’t blame Him. I’m not angry. I just wonder, where is the strength I need?

Have you ever felt like that?

The thing is, God does give strength, but often times that strength is wrought through struggle. I’ve said this before, and it is true: it’s not that you aren’t getting better. Things just keep getting harder.

My responsibilities have doubled in the last couple of years, and a couple years ago I thought that I could not handle a single thing more. That was true. I couldn’t, but I knew Who could. I still know Who can, and He does.

The physical effects are still here, but the mind is more resilient. The spirit is more resilient, and there is peace so long as I look to the Lord and know that He has purposed it all and a lot of the trouble comes from making the right choices. He will not look away from that. I don’t see the fruit or reward readily, and some days it all feels like a futile, hamster wheel of a life, but deep down I know better.

Sometimes I’m tempted to look at people who have it “easy” and wonder what I have done wrong. Sometimes I am tempted to look at those who look down on me and my family for our United States level “poverty” and I feel shame because many think that if you are poor then you must be lazy or a sinner of some sort. They don’t see the sacrifices and choices made for good, not for wealth, but for doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

He sees, and I should look to Him and not those who seem to have it all and follow Jesus at the same time. I should look to Him and not the shame, because me and my family are not a shame to Him–we are and will be a story of victory for His glory. Of this, I am certain.

He gives strength to the weak, but this does not always look like strength. To the outside world it looks like shame, a life of sin, and being forsaken by God. The same will be true for many of us should we be here in the final days, but Jesus will give us strength–and though our strength might seem to be shame–it is not. As Jesus said in Joel, “my people will never be ashamed.”

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