When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong

2 Corinthians 12:9-10Something woke me in the middle of the night. It had been a few days since we found out that my husband was unemployed—with an increasingly sinking account balance and no immediate prospects for a job.

As I tossed a bit and tried to get comfortable in another sleeping position, the thought came booming through, out of nowhere.

I am powerless. Powerless.

And a feeling of vulnerability and weakness washed over me.

In the next thought, though, I reassured myself that powerless was exactly what I should be.

It’s strange to be there—in that moment of paradox. Utterly dependent yet completely confident. Scared to death and perfectly at peace.

Weak yet strong.

9 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. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. —Romans 12:9-10, ESV

Day Eight

Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.

Seeing My Sin In The Middle of a Crisis

31 Days to a Deeper Faith writingmomof3 Going through a crisis has the strangest way of exposing all sorts of things about you, your beliefs, your feelings, your relationships, and your sin.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that any of these things—or your doing or not doing something—causes the crisis or that God is somehow punishing you with a crisis because of something you did or did not do.

Certainly, of course, a crisis may result from the natural consequences of one’s actions (mismanagement of money leads to bankruptcy), but God never sends calamity as punishment for your sin (as Pat Robertson is likely to teach).

What I’m saying is that while one is going through crisis, God will use the time and the circumstances to reveal many things to you. During our time of unemployment, a dwindling bank account, a diet of rice and beans, and a stripped-back life of just the essentials, God has hit me in the face with my sin of idolatry of money.

I know that I’ve struggled with this forever. But I’m telling you: until I’ve been in this utterly dependent situation, I’ve not fully confronted the depth of how committed I’ve been to this sin.

Seeing My Sin In the Middle of a Crisis

Day Seven

I love money. I love having enough and more than enough. I love pretty things, I love convenience, and I love comfort. I love being able to coast along on auto-pilot without much regard for stewardship or planning.

I resent people who have more money than I have. I’m constantly plagued by comparing myself to others and their monetary situation. I am jealous and critical. And then I become depressed. Depressed that I don’t have enough and depressed that I’m a lousy steward of what I do have. Depressed that this particular sin has taken up primary residence in my heart.

I don’t have a magic formula for identifying sin, confessing and repenting of it, and moving past it. No. But I do know that as I’ve found myself in this crisis, I do believe that God is working in many ways — and on this specific way with me.

Seeing My Sin, Confronting It, and Repenting

First, I had been praying that God would reveal my sin to me. Yea. A dangerous prayer, but important nonetheless.

Second, I continue to pray for his revelation of my sin to me.

Third, I pray that he—in all of his perfection—would be everything and more to me than my idols. This is an ongoing exercise that’s a mix of prayer, journaling, meditation, and talking to myself. I am fully dependent and trusting on God—not material items.

Finally, and this is a biggie!—I pray that God would empower me to turn from my sin and deliver me from my own insecurities and jealousies.

Photo Credit: MickWatson via Compfight cc

Is God Shouting to You?

C.S. Lewis quote: God Shouts in Our Pains

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Day Six

Surely He Has Borne Our Griefs

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Day Five

My journey through 31 Days to Deeper Faith continues. I discovered this beautiful drawing (below) from Adam Ford. I wanted to share it with you because I believe it captures so perfectly the atoning work of Christ.

Regardless of your crisis, you can have a deeper faith. Simply meditate on the finished work of Christ.

He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3-5, ESV, emphasis mine)

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Pressing In

Day Three

I have pretty painful tendonitis in my achilles tendons on both heels.

It can catch me off guard if I stand after sitting for awhile or sometimes when I wake in the morning. Getting moving can be rough.

I asked the doctor about it and she advised that I stretch my legs—specifically, those tendons on each heel—regularly. And I do try.

But I find that I’ll go a few days without stretching, and then the pain is almost unbearable when I get up and start walking.

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Talking to Myself

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Day Two

I talk to myself a lot.

Maybe most people do and they don’t admit it. Or maybe most people don’t and therefore have nothing to admit.

But I proclaim loudly that I talk to myself—out loud—and it helps me. It helps me be a better writer and a better student. It helps me sort out life.

Sometimes, though, talking to myself is self-destructive. I’m pretty good at beating myself up and noticing my flaws (I am a former perfectionist, you know—ahem).

And when tragedy strikes, I find that talking to myself becomes a raw discovery of who God is and what he’s doing.

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31 Days to a Deeper Faith: Seeking God While Surviving a Crisis

writingmomof3.com

I recently re-discovered the Nesting Place blog and noticed that she was hosting a “31 Days” Blogging Challenge.

I had been looking for something to motivate me to write more regularly, and I thought this challenge would be a good one for consistency.

Right now, my husband is unemployed due to a crazy string of events. God is moving us through a trying time and teaching us all sorts of things about himself, ourselves, and our faith.

I thought this topic would be a good one to explore from various angles for 31 days.

Join me, won’t you? Let’s discover together what it’s like to really seek God’s will in the middle of a crisis. When you are faced with struggles and hardship, how does your faith deepen? What does God teach us when we are stripped of all our comforts and crutches?

For background, read this post first: The Job Saga of 2013.

As I blog each day, I’ll post the link below so you can simply check back to this post.

I’m excited to spend October pursuing the heart of God.

Day One

31 Days to a Deeper Faith: Seeking God While Surviving a Crisis

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Disclosure: I am not a medical doctor. Any statements made on this blog about essential oil use are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure any condition. My statements about essential oils are my opinion and are based upon my own experiences and research.

I occasionally feature affiliate links in my blog posts. Should you follow my link and make a purchase or join a membership website, I will be compensated for my referral.