I envy individuals who are talked about as strong people. Often it is used to talk about individuals who are in the midst of stress, personal struggles, or crisis, and are able to navigate it with grace, and a relatively level head. I want to be one of those strong people. This was not a bad idea until in the middle of last year I found myself in a period of time fraught with chaos, stress, and lots of uncertainty. When I looked in the mirror I have to say, I did not see a “strong person.”
This past week I came across this passage. It is in the last chapter of the book of Ephesians, as part of the conclusion and wrap up of the book. This is one of the key take aways for the readers of the book, and likely words spoken from experience. I believe these words to be penned by an author who knew full well that no matter how strong of a person you are, there is going to be a day, a crisis, a temptation, a hurt that will make you feel weak, at least if you are drawing solely from your own strength. Instead we read in Ephesians that we are to be strong in the strength of God’s might. God the creator of the universe, the one who parts waters, and raises people from the dead. It is his mighty strength that we are to find our own strength in.
No matter how often I read this verse, I wrestle with my own inner dialogue telling me that I need to be strong, to dig deep, and to do it myself. This passage is a reminder to all the type A, independent, do-it-yourself people that God’s plan and intention is not for you to do it all yourself. God’s plan is for us to be in authentic community with others who find their strength in God’s might, who can cover our weaknesses, share in our joys, and walk alongside us in our struggles.
The question still remains for me: what do you think you need to be strong enough to do or take on? Where do you find yourself grasping for straws of control, power, and might, when God is telling you to lean on him?