“He answered me, ‘I am all you need. I give you My loving-favor. My power works best in weak people.’ I am happy to be weak and have troubles so I can have Christ’s power in me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLV)
For the umpteenth time, I found myself inwardly crying out, “O Lord, please help me. I don’t know how to do this, and I need Your help.” My husband Lynn suffered a major stroke in 2010 and was left with a weakened left side and little use of his left hand. He had been a master craftsman all through the years. In fact, instead of describing him as a “jack-of-all-trades and master of none”, I had always secretly termed him a “jack-of-all-trades and master of all”. So, when, in the blink of an eye, he found himself no longer able to work on projects in his shop, it grieved him deeply.
Nonetheless, though his mobile function was greatly diminished, his fertile brain continued to churn out all sorts of ideas for assistive devices to help him with daily activities. He had ample tools and materials to fabricate these devices, but there was one problem. Between the two of us, we had three hands, and two of them were mine. That meant that I often found myself beside him in his shop, trying to clamp and saw a board, tighten a bolt, hammer a nail, or do whatever else that he needed me to do in order to complete his envisioned project.
It wasn’t that I was physically or mentally incapable of performing these tasks. I had just never needed to do them before. Nonetheless, little by little, with many silent prayers for God’s help and strength, I found myself becoming more and more capable. I discovered that I had strength and ability that had been untapped, and I realized that I was growing to like my new, more confident self.
The German philosopher, Nietzsche, said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” All of us have faced difficulties and challenges that, as we realized later on, helped us to become stronger and more competent. Facing and conquering a problem gives us more confidence for the next trial that comes our way. Strength builds on strength.
I am a stronger, more confident person today for having weathered many challenges as my husband’s caregiver. At the time, I sometimes resisted the trial and wished for it to go away, but when I submitted to God’s plan for my life, I learned that I could also trust Him to carry me through the hard times.
Something to think about: Would I rather escape a difficult time in life, or am I willing to go through it, knowing that I will come out stronger on the other side?
Prayer: Loving heavenly Father, You have promised to be with us always, and we know that we can trust You to give us needed strength for our battles at just the right time. Please strengthen our faith as You strengthen our resolve. Amen.
Copyright © 2021, by Gail Lundquist <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Beaverton, Oregon, USA
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission