God of Life-giving Strength
“For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust.” - Psalm 103:14 (NLT)
When was the last time you played a good old-fashioned game of arm-wrestling? It has probably been quite some time! My 7-year-old son and I were recently in an arm-wrestling match, and he became highly discouraged because I kept beating him. He was sure he would finally defeat me with each new game, but loss after loss had him more and more upset. Finally, I offered to switch arms, from my dominant one to my weaker one. I also added the advantage of him getting to use both arms to try and beat me in our final match. I bet you can guess what happened next—total domination from my son. He had finally triumphed, and you would have thought he had won the Olympics with all his dancing around.
Each new day has a way of ushering in an assortment of wrestling matches that exposes your weakness and leaves you breathless as you fight to get out from underneath life's heavy load. Weakness can show up physically—perhaps you are fighting a chronic illness, battling against a physical temptation, or just grappling through the daily demands at work or home. Weakness can show up emotionally—when you are helping to shoulder a heavy load for a family member or friend or when you feel beat down by life's circumstances. Weakness can also show up spiritually—when you feel disconnected from God or in those times when you have prayed your heart out, and God asks you to be still and wait on Him. In those moments, it is easy to wonder if God is ever going to grant you victory in a particular area or if He even cares enough to fight on your behalf or the behalf of a loved one.
What poignant reminders we observe all throughout Scripture that reveal how God provides life-giving strength when we are weak:
King Hezekiah, faithful in God's eyes, was terminally ill. Knowing he would die, Hezekiah cried out to God to remember his life of faithful service, and God extended his life by 15 years (2 Kings 20). God's life-giving strength in weakness.
King Josiah, who assumed the throne at the tender age of 8, was well aware of his ignorance of how to be a godly leader. So, what did he do? He immediately looked to God to provide the wisdom, courage, and strength he would need to be a faithful, godly leader. And in the strength God provided, Josiah instituted a nationwide resurgence to the obedience of God's law (2 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 34-35). God's life-giving strength in weakness.
In the final third of Isaiah's book, we discover after a time of righteous judgment, God is indeed a loving, tender shepherd who restores His people and strengthens them once again (Isaiah 44-66). God's life-giving strength in weakness.
Where do you currently feel weak—emotionally, mentally, relationally, physically, or spiritually? Psalm 103:14 reminds you that God understands your weakness. He sympathizes with it. And if you invite Him, He will lovingly clasp His strong hands over yours and help you wage the wrestling matches life is throwing at you. You do not have to fight alone. You merely need to "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10, ESV).
Pause to Ponder: Today, where do you feel weak or powerless to stand and fight against what lies in front of you? Right now, invite God's power into your weakness and ask Him to teach you how to "be strong in the Lord." God will provide life-giving strength in your weakness.
Follow our Contributing Writer - Jamie Adele Wood