I remember a certain evening vividly. I was eight-years-old, curled up against a castle of pillows, watching TV with my daddy.
We were watching a show where people were doing hard things that required a lot of strength. Suddenly, a tall man (who looked like he should’ve been part of a biker gang) took the stage. He grabbed a Teflon coated frying pan and rolled it up with his bare hands. To the average person, that’s pretty impressive. But to an eight-year-old? It’s absolutely mesmerizing!
Another day, years ago, my family was harvesting corn from one of our gardens. The sun was shining, the weather was perfect, and everyone had their own job and task to accomplish. My little brother, Owen, was two-years-old at the time. Owen, less than three feet tall, had his arms loaded up with corn, so you could barely see his face. With a proud smile, he wobbled through the maze towards the wheelbarrow, yelling at the top of his lungs, “I’m muscle man! I got big, big, muscles!”
Strength is something we all notice, even at a young age. It’s something that makes us feel worthy and useful. It’s something we depend upon, and often take for granted, just as much as our next breath.
But what do we do when our strength fails us? Where do we turn on those gloomy days? Those lonely nights? Those hours that seem to drag by in pain? When we can’t even accomplish the easiest of tasks?
What we do, friends, is turn to the One with the most strength. The One who has so much strength that he offered some of it to us. The One who has offered to be our strength.
When our own strength fails us, we turn to Christ. Here’s how:
1. Call out to him.
Start by simply asking him. It says in Psalm 34:17 that when the righteous call for help, he hears their cries and rescues them from all their troubles. He will hear your cries, and he will help you. So, call out to him for help. He promises to be our helper.
Are you finding yourself discouraged? Weak? Disheartened? Bring all your cares to the Lord and he will sustain you. He gives you strength, because he cares for you. (Psalm 55:22)
3. Read the Words of Life.
We all have those days that just don’t seem to go right. You accidentally burnt your toast, spilled your coffee on the way to work, your boss yelled at you, you missed an important meeting. You think your day can’t get any worse, and then bam! It does.
So what do you do now?
What you might feel like doing is curling up into a ball, and hiding from all humanity. But it’s on the bad days when we need to study, and lean on the Lord for our support. This is when we need those Words of Life more than ever before.
If you happened to get a hold of my Bible, you might see Scriptures here and there highlighted in fluorescent green. These are Scriptures that I’ve highlighted during what I call my “Scripture hunts” where I look for Scriptures that bring me peace and joy. I know without a doubt that whatever happens during the day, I can always turn to those verses and draw the strength I need to finish my task.
I encourage you to take your own Bible and hunt for Scriptures that bring you a surge of joy and peace when you read them. Underline them, memorize them. But most importantly, have them ready when you need them the most. (1 Peter 2:2, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
4. Get together with fellow believers.
Lots of us have those certain friends in our lives. The ones who pray for us, encourage us, and are always there to lend a listening ear, or help us when we’re in trouble.
Never hesitate to call, text, message, and get in touch with these friends. Ask them to pray for you, ask them to pray with you. See if you can get together sometime that week and study the Bible together. Or even just take a walk in the park, or meet for coffee.
I guarantee that you’ll feel better after you’ve spent a while with your friend, exhorting and encouraging one another, building each other up. (Proverbs 27:17, Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Know that you never have to go through trials alone. You are God’s child. He loves you. He cares for you. He wants to pick you up and encourage you, strengthen you, and be your help. He wants to be your strength.
So, let him be your Father. Let him carry your burdens.
Find strength in the One who has offered to be yours.