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1.1.19 – An unusual New Year’s Day question to ponder…

I’ve had a question in mind this morning… and honestly it’s not really my favorite kind of question to ponder on the 1st day of a New Year.

“Why do we build strength? Endurance? Why do we build muscles?”

“To look good? To have muscles to flaunt? To say, “Look what I can do?” And then sit on the sidelines?”

But what good is it to be made strong if we don’t use that strength for a purpose?

Why would the Lord teach us how to be strong? Strong in Him, and strengthened as a believer. Why would He guide us into a place where we have to endure in order to get through?

Why? Because that strength, that endurance that is built within us from the Lord is going to be needed. He’s teaching us, He’s leading us, He’s conditioning us, He’s cheering us on. He knows we will need that God-given, built-up strength to be able to get through the journey ahead and not fall.

That’s hard to think about isn’t it? I don’t like to think about having to use strength and endurance to be able to go through something that could possibly be really hard. I don’t love the idea of having to be tough. I think of callouses and scars when I think of “tough”. Hmm… wait a minute. I think of Jesus when I think of callouses and scars. I think of what He endured for us. What He did for the world. Then I think also of my own callouses and scars…

We were created to show the world what we’re made of –and by saying that I mean, “Who” we’re made of. Beautifully and wonderfully made by our Creator, saved and redeemed by Jesus, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Conditioned and strengthened so that we are “able” to stand strong. A light in the darkness. A hand with the ability to help those in need.

It takes courage to stand as a light in the darkness. It takes strength to be the hand to help those in need.

This is who He is teaching us to be. This is where the journey leads.

As a side note: I really wanted to write about the time I so clearly heard the Lord call me His “flower” a few months ago and it completely surprised me, and then I realized this morning I was supposed to write about this question of strength, and I really wanted to write about how sweet the Lord was to call me His “flower” and all of that. But then as I am finishing this post, I am realizing that flowers are actually very tough, at least some of them are. They aren’t so “delicate” as they’ve often been made out to be. They have to go through a lot in order to transform and push through, to come out of hiding from under the dirt, to withstand the wind and the hard rains. Maybe I’ll write more about this another day.

Lord, I thank you for teaching me that strength and courage must be built and conditioned by You, and that it’s all for Your purpose. Forgive me for my whining and complaining about the process of strengthening. I know that not only is it for my own good, but for the good of Your Kingdom. Thank you for reminding me that callouses represent strength and scars represent courage…callouses and scars transformed into strength and courage represent restoration, healing, and redemption to the world and give us the ability and privilege to be used by You for Your Kingdom, and for Your glory.

–Heather ?

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