Many retailers and manufacturers have adopted a “just in time” mentality in regards to inventory. Instead of stocking inventory, it is ordered and received right when it is needed. God does that. The truth is sometimes, strength arrives “just in time” too!
I am a visual thinker.
That means I almost always want to know what something looks like. Most of the time I picture strength as bold and showy like the bulging muscles that drive a bully’s drawn fist. And, I forget that it can be seen even more accurately in the tenacity of a skinny-armed kid defending his brother.
I forget that strength can look different sometimes.
I forget strength can be gentle and relentless, like a bubbling current tumbling and polishing rocks in a riverbed. Strength that is demonstrated in kind words and deeds instead of hurling angry retaliatory ones. Strength that persists through difficulties. Or, strength that sees the best in people and speaks life into them instead of regurgitating the criticism that everyone else sees.
There are times that strength seems invisible. Elusive. Absent? Sometimes the strength we need can’t be seen or felt; yet it simply remains undetectable until it is needed, accessed and activated. Much like the power from an electrical outlet, which is available, yet unnoticed until someone plugs in! The power is available and is accessed as needed.
God gives us strength when it is needed!
Corrie ten Boom illustrates the truth that “God gives us strength as it is needed,” vividly and poignantly, in her classic “The Hiding Place.” If you haven’t read it, you need to. It was one of those books that shaped my life.
As the book begins, she introduces herself and her family and the values that her life was built on. Here is a little tidbit tucked in her narrative that I have used again and again for years and years.
Her dad, Casper ten Boom, was a jeweler and passionate watch repairman in Harleem, Holland. Every Monday he traveled to Amsterdam to adjust his time to precisely match the time of the Naval Observatory. Corrie was given the privilege of accompanying him on the wondrous adventure, when she wasn’t in school! When a neighbor’s little baby died, Corrie followed her mom up rail-less stairs to carry a basket of fresh bread for the poor, distraught family. Their home was a single room, which was already full of people sharing their condolences. Corrie froze at the door when she saw the little baby still lying in its crib. That moment cracked the door to a reality that her little mind had never imagined…if a baby could die…then her aunt, her mother, or even her dad could die too. She was terrified. Corrie was devastated. She followed her sister upstairs and climbed into bed. Her dad always tucked them in before they went to sleep, so Corrie waited stone faced. The minute her dad stepped into the room her tears erupted. Sobbing she pleaded, “But I need you! You can’t die. You can’t.” Her sister sat up and explained, “We went to Mrs. Hoog’s house. Corrie didn’t eat supper or anything.” Sitting on the edge of the bed, he spoke softly, “Corrie, when you and I ride the train to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?” She wiped her tears as she thought about his question. “Right before we get on the train.” “Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows that we need things sometimes, too. Don’t run ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need—just in time.”
And He does. He gives us strength right when we need it.
Exactly what we need at just the right moment. Corrie would need tremendous strength to go through the horrors of the holocaust first hand and God gave it to her; day by day, step by step. He was always there. Joshua needed strength to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. He was always there. Gideon needed strength to fight the Midianites. He was always there. .
Isaiah paints a strong word picture in Isaiah 41:10 NLT.
Do you see God tenderly sitting beside you as he calmly whispers, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.” He then lifts your chin and looks you in the eyes before He continues “Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.” Right on time and right when you need it, He promises, “I will strengthen you and help you.” Then without dropping His tender gaze He takes your hand in His, “I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” I realize there is a tremendous temptation in our busy schedule to never sit in His presence long enough to feel His presence or His gentle reassurance. We are tempted to fill every moment of our prayer time giving Him a “Please Do List.” But healing doesn’t take place in our hearts when we run in and run out of our prayer time. Healing takes place in the stillness and in listening to Him. It’s in those moments that we simply breathe in His love and exhale the fear and loneliness that healing takes place.
“Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalms 46:10a NLT
Different translations and/or versions use different words for “be still.” Some use: Stop fighting-Stop striving-Be in awe. I’m not minimizing your situation or your broken heart; but you can make it through this! And God wants to give you the strength. Trust me…holding onto the pain doesn’t solve your problem, but holding onto Jesus will give you the strength to go through this situation. Search the Bible. Biblehub.com is my favorite place to search. When a verse jumps out at you, make yourself a hope document and copy the verse into that doc and read it again and again. Pray. Ask God for strength. If you haven’t, ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and come into your heart. Don’t be afraid to seek help from a friend or a professional. We were made for relationships. Pray. Read. Repeat again and again and again until peace fills the broken place in your heart.
Did you read my previous posts on strength? Please check them out.
Want to read or reread Hiding Place (It’s one of the books that has shaped my life.)
As you can tell from all my recent posts, the subject of how to be strong has exploded in my heart. Partially because I need it and then because I think you might need it too. So, I am working on an e-book that I want to give you. I wanted to offer it to you when I posted this one, but it’s just not done. Sorry! It’s gonna be so good! And, I’m bragging on Jesus because I’m just sharing what He’s shared with me. It’s longer than what I thought it would be and I want to add some of my pictures with scriptures in it too. So if you would like to be the first to receive it, just sign up with the form in the right hand column and I’ll send it to you just as soon as it’s done. God bless you! I’d love to share my free ebook that will help you be stronger. Check it out at the link below.
“Be Stronger” ebook