S37P2 – Spare parts: strength

Phil. 4:12-13

I know how to get along and live humbly, and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret, whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens and empowers me.

Most of us welcome newness in life. While there is confidence and security in the things on which we can rely, change can be rather exciting. Perhaps a new job that comes with a promotion requires a move to a new city or state. Maybe the birth of a new baby means it is time to upgrade the home. No one wants life to get stale, but we also want life’s changes to be within our control. We have this idea that moving through life means moving up in certain respects. At least in the Western world, the idea of periodic and perpetual upgrade is very common. The expectation is that one will simply grow in finances and possessions as one is building a life. Of course, this will not be the case for many people. Life’s twists and turns can certainly bring constant change, but that change is not always what we desire or what we feel we are prepared to handle. That is when we need God’s strength.

The changes in life that knock us down a notch can make us feel as if we are simply incapable of living up to others’ expectations or perhaps even our own. Ask any young person to map out their future, and you likely will hear of all the ways life will get better over time. I doubt anyone would map out the tragedies and disappointments that they expect to lie ahead. We simply do not prepare for these things because we do not look forward to them occurring. What tends to happen is that we then are not prepared when we are blindsided by life. The unfortunate occurs, and we have no time to muster up our strength to deal with it. We have a mere instant to act. The good thing is that God knows this. It only takes an instant for his strength to work through us and sustain us during those times. It is God’s strength that keeps us going through the good and bad, the abundant and the lean times. What we have solely within us simply would not do.

Some lead rather charmed lives and will experience very little disappointment or hardship. Others have drawn the short end of the stick pretty much since birth. For those whose lives have seemed to be nothing but difficult, it can be a daily struggle to make it until the next sunrise. The world is a brutal place, and we should not be surprised that some people have it so tough they decide it is time to simply check out of here. The hope is that those experiencing such difficult times come to the knowledge that God can provide the strength to get through anything we face. There is nothing too difficult, no blow too crushing, that God cannot keep us standing in victory. His strength conquers all. Father, thank You that we are not left alone in this world to face life’s challenges, and remind us to rely not on our strength but on yours.