Monday, February 21, 2005

In the FoxHole, part IV:
Strength in Christ

In the FoxHole, part I - Strength before Strength
In the FoxHole, part II - Pain as Teacher
In the FoxHole, part III - Waiting

As I wait, I have to find new inner resources. The status quo is challenged and more is being required of me than has ever been required before. My current spiritual chops are woefully insufficient. I need a transcendent strength that will handle the increased load.

For the last several years I've had on my bulletin board, on my home and work laptops, and on my PDA a document called "Strength in Christ" with four passages I've found very helpful. I go back to them again and again. I go to them now:

  • Philippians 4:11-13 (all references English Standard Version and all emphases mine)

    11Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

  • 2 Corinthians 4:7-9

    7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

  • 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

    So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

  • 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

    So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


Rick said...

Dear Stephen,

Perhaps this may be about "conversion" for you. There is no question that you are in love with God, but this may be more about allowing God to love you; about opening your soul and "just being." God doesn't need your help, only your willingness. I sense in reading your post that you "do" alot to stay centered on Christ and focused on goals etc. I find that my "doing" is like looking for the car keys everywhere when in reality they are right under my nose. The only way I can find them is to stop the frantic seeking that produces so much anxiety.

Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know.
Be still.

The promise that God comes has been fulfilled.

Peace on your journey.

Stephen said...

Thanks Rick. a Helpful comment.