Every time I write something in December, I feel it ought to be something regarding Christmas, Advent, cookies, memories, gifts, peace: you fill in the blank. I did actually do it once and I still like it! I don’t have it this year, yo. Don’t have it. Maybe on Christmas Eve. Maybe the beautiful writing that stirs the Christmas heart will hit me then.
My last post was gritty. But it was truthful….and may I say, I am a glass half-full girl. I like that full lens….I like joy. I like rising up. I like wrestling forward. Progress. So, when two weeks later, ya still wrasslin, well shoot. It throws me for a loop to not be upright and on top of all of it. Instead, I feel like I keep grasping for stability. Do you ever feel that way?
A few brief thoughts: What the what?
It’s seasons like this that make me ask aggressive questions of God. My big girl voice comes out, honesty breaks in and my prayers sound like heated discussions. “WHAT am I supposed to do? No, I am actually serious here, Sir. I need you, here, now, and I need to know what to do.” And then the verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9 pops into my mind:
“But 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.”
You think to yourself once again, what the what?!?! Sometimes it’s all confounding. I love the thought of His grace being sufficient for me and His power being made perfect in my weakness. But when you’re in the spin of the wrestle, or at least when I am in the spin of the wrestle, lovely thoughts do little for me. They irritate me. I get very practical when I’m in the fight. Practical and real pave the way for inspiration and beauty to come running back.
So, what does it mean for Your power to be made perfect in my weakness? Some translations say, He is strong when I am weak. I decided to pull up The Message. Sometimes the total rephrasing helps me understand the point being made:
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 The Message:
7-10 “Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”
It’s that sentence after ‘My strength comes into its own in your weakness’ that gets me. The ‘once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen.‘ AHA! There is something I can doooooooooooo. It’s not all about feeling it – it’s not just that the fact is true that His strength comes into fullness when I am weak. It’s that it is true and I let it happen. Puzzle piece. Next thought: how do I let it happen?
No solid answers. Only guesses. I think it has something to do with letting Him take over. Letting go of the time table. “Ahem, Darling Lord, let’s get the thing done. Let’s wrap ‘er up!” So, cut that concept out of the picture: objective of quick resolve gone. Apparently, there is more wrestle to do so who am I to say, ‘we’ve had enough fun’? And in that, 90% of the battle is simply acknowledging that it’s happening. I’m so glass-full that my natural instinct is to see the beautiful fall leaves, adore the fatty ruby red sparkling balls on my Christmas tree, delight in my morning latte, gaze into the sets of gorgeous blue eyes my sons both have, and go on my merry little way. As I type those things, of course, the answer is not stop seeing beauty and receiving love through the simple things He puts in my path. But, to the point that I allow those things to aid me in effectively burying my head in the sand and pretending we’re done with the wrestle, it prolongs said wrestle. I would rather pretend it is not happening! Lalalalalalalalalalala…….So, one thing I have started doing is adding some words to my conversations with Him that go a little something like this:
“I appreciate what You are doing in me, Jesus. I honor it. I thank you for helping me to wrestle through this. Help me to be weak when I want to pretend I’m not. Help me to not hide from what You are doing. I declare over myself that I WILL get to the other side and that I will not circle this mountain endlessly. By your grace, I will get what You want me to learn. I won’t quit because you are with me. I won’t be afraid of the wrestle.”
And I’m going to tell ya, when you pray those words, the fight comes up. Dagnabbit, yeah! I am not going to wrestle endlessly. Huh-uh. Oh we are going to do this thing. Who wants to walk around a mountain for 40 years? NOT THIS GIRL. So, even if I don’t feel like I’m making a lot of progress, I pray over myself and say that I will get what the Lord wants out of it.
So, here I sit, the girl in the wrestle. Don’t have the exact language for it yet, looking forward to the other side, but refusing to jump ship because conflict is uncomfortable.
Even if I like to pout about it sometimes.
Are you wrestling? Perhaps we should meet for coffee and swap sob stories. It will be a real good time. Ha!