Series: The Word
Ephesians 6:10 ESV
Romans 8:28 ESV
New Creation (2 Corinthians 5)
My Mother is one of the strongest women I know.
Even at 95 she is a tower of strength. She is also quite capable of making decisions.
While that is an admirable quality, there is another side to the story.
In contrast to my Mother, I am not a tower of strength. I never have been. I think it’s possible that I relied on her strength when I was growing up.
I have struggled to make decisions. When I married there were times it was difficult to be strong and to make decisions.
I had to learn how to “do life”.
I’ve written about it before, but when I was in my twenties I went to my dad and asked him to help me understand why I was struggling.
I asked how to be strong and make decisions.
He looked at me over the top of his reading glasses and he said, “don’t.”
Then he opened his Bible and read Ephesians 6:10. He said that not being strong and knowing I’m not strong is a win-win.
I asked him, “how so?”
He read Ephesians 6:10 which says, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”
He reiterated, “don’t try to be strong.”
He followed up by saying, “instead learn to depend on God’s strength. And as far as making decisions goes, ask God to tell you or to show you the right decision.”
That conversation started my lifelong pursuit of not being concerned about being strong.
That day a weight was lifted off of my shoulders and I stopped beating myself up for not being able to make decisions.
Instead, I focused on listening to God and telling God when I need help.
That conversation with my dad was fifty years ago and since that day my pursuit has been to ask God to show me the way.
What I’ve learned is that when I stop and turn to God, God is always there.
In addition to that, even when I try to do it on my own, God is still there loving me and waiting for me to turn and listen.
Along the way God has sent help and encouragement.
About twenty years ago I was going through a really tough time. Everything in my life changed. A friend of mine at work knew I was struggling and she invited me to go to church with her.
It turned out they had a very active prayer ministry and they practiced listening prayer. I went to every class and I discovered there were great books to help me.
That led me to connecting to Renovare’ and Spiritual Practices.
God also opened the door for me to regularly sit with a Spiritual Director.
Those changes catapulted me into a time of growth and regeneration.
The Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 8:28, “all things work together for good” really came to life on a daily basis. Even though outwardly it looked like my life was in a shambles, God was inwardly changing me to be a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5).
Everything God did during that time eventually led toward the road to Seminary.
When God first told me to go to Seminary, I thought it was an insane idea. I was single again after being married for over thirty years. I had a full time job and a part time job. I told God I did not have time to go to graduate school.
God pressed in. God even sent others to tell me there was something I’m supposed to do and I need to say “yes”. They didn’t know what it was…they were sent to tell me to say okay.
I hadn’t been a student for a while and I told God I’m too old (I was in my early fifties).
God sent people to tell me I’m not too old even though they didn’t know what that meant.
I finally agreed because it was late August and I thought I’d have another year to prepare for the changes.
I applied and I had a letter of acceptance in my hands within twelve hours.
Okay. Alrighty then. Off to Seminary I went. I lived 4 hours away from the school I attended and I only had to be on campus for two weeks a year. I had more than enough vacation time to make that happen.
God covered all the bases and opened all the doors.
It was one of the greatest journeys of my life and I loved every moment of it (even studying Hebrew).
The bottom line is that even though I didn’t have the strength or the tools to make the journey, God gave me what I needed.
Today, I’m very very grateful for that journey!
Spiritual Practice: Turn to God
Whatever you are struggling with today, let God help you and rely on God’s supernatural strength.
In God, Deborah