Thursday, August 02, 2007

Strain for the strength


It rained so hard today in Tampa all day. I woke up late this morning and I don't know if my alarm ever went off. All I remember is waking up perfectly toasty warm under my duvet, with just half my head sticking out from underneath, hearing the rain outside coming down hard. It continued all day with just very brief breaks. It has been kind of nice because it has broken up the heat wave we were having. Things have been much cooler of which I am ever grateful.

Got a lot done at the office today including one of my messages for an upcoming conference. I feel good about it. I have six more messages to work on right now and am just pacing myself on them. We left work at five and went to the grocery and I picked up everything to do chicken casserole for the kids tonight (one of their all time favorites) and I put it with baked potatoes and texas garlic toast and some chocolate chip cookies. They (including Stephen) were elated. When I got home I discovered they had already been to the store and spent a bunch of money getting things to make smoothies and non-alcoholic drinks. They had all this fruit and pina colada mix and were blenderizing all this stuff. I never know what I'm going to come home to. Today I came home to these drinks everywhere and a Christian rock band in my garage wailing away. You could hear them as you were coming down the street it was so loud so I had to come in and ask them to tone it down. This is what life is like with teenage kids if anybody is wondering.

Reading in Oswald Chambers devotional My Utmost for His Highest today and it says: "God will give you nourishment— "To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life.." Revelation 2:7. If you completely give of yourself physically, you become exhausted. But when you give of yourself spiritually, you get more strength. God never gives us strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the moment. Our temptation is to face adversities from the standpoint of our own common sense. But a saint can "be of good cheer" even when seemingly defeated by adversities, because victory is absurdly impossible to everyone, except God."


He goes on to say that we must strain in order to have strength. There is no strength without straining...sort of reminds me of the old saying, "no pain, no gain."

I have been straining - in some areas in a good way - just the kind of straining that produces character, accomplishment, strength spiritually, etc. But then I have also been straining in a few ways that are not productive and of those God is helping me to take a stand and unload some things from my life. I am reminded, God doesn't extend strength for unordained tasks." There are some things that just "fall to me"...I never asked for them nor do I feel God has assigned it, but it's just become me or nothing. I've decided to act on this and unload the strain. Negative things may happen as a result - in fact in some cases things may fall apart. But even if the world should fall apart as a result, I'm not going to save the day because I have to do just what God has told me to handle. I just can't do things anymore that shouldn't be on my list. Enough stressing about it - it's done.

Still reading this week in I Chronicles and today the verse that stood out to me was: I Chronicles 13:18b: "Peace and prosperity be with you and success to all who help you, for your God is the one who helps you."

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