My featured image was taken at one of my favorite places in New Mexico, City of Rocks, while RV’ing around the Southwest. As you can see, I could not of myself climb this insurmountable rock, yet there is a way revealed among the rocks to the surface if one but seeks it out. The same is true of problems in our lives, our inability is made ability when the secrets of the Rock are known. I have been reading in the Old Testament and have found a great many references to the Lord as our Rock, or strength.
After writing my last blog entry, A Minor Character Woven into the Plot, I realized a common thread running through all my writings. It is pervasive not only in my writings but my life as well and highlights the fact that I have a very serious flaw.
I didn’t begin to journal until about twenty-five years ago, after my son Nathan died. The fifteen years before that I was busy with educational and professional endeavors as well as starting a family. And growing up, I never kept a diary, especially not as a teenager, because I have six brothers. There was no way I was going to put in print what I did not want my brothers to know. And I certainly had no qualms about telling them what I did want them to know!
Reviewing my writings during the last twenty-five years, I can clearly see how I focus on where I am, contrasted with were I want to be. Yet today, as I think of my pervasive self doubt, I realize something profound. This is not a flaw at all.
My low self-esteem and poor self-confidence is, however, my greatest strength.
I can clearly see that my inadequacy requires me to rely on God. Searching scripture to find words applicable to each situation in my life, is what sustains me in difficult circumstances. Learned as a child, this strategy of depending on God has enabled all my successes; personal, educational and professional. Someone focusing on my accomplishments, compliments me while seemly unaware of what I now know.
I’m not a writer, but I love to read what I write.
I’m not a speaker, but I feel so alive while talking to an audience.
I’m a thinker, who has to rely on the Lord for insight and creativity in order to write and to speak.
Being a thinker, I am learning to write my thoughts in a context that someone not living my life, will understand. I think that is the greatest difference for me, sharing what I am thinking in a context to which someone else can relate. In conversations, I sometimes find it difficult to find the right word, especially as I get older. So while writing or speaking to groups, I have to rely on the Lord to give me the words I need to speak, to do the things I need to do.
I am totally awed by what God allows me to understand about him and the majesty of creation. Yet it just puts me in my place; God versus me, The Creator versus the created.
- When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visiteth him? Psalm 8:3-4 KJV.
- Psalm 28:7 says that the Lord is our help and shield in all that we do. He’s there for me. I don’t have to think about not being as smart, important or effective as another person.
- I don’t have to rely only on myself, but on the Lord. “The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid… ” “I was pushed back and about to fall but the Lord helped me up.” Psalm 118:6,13 NIV.
- Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat – for he grants sleep to those he loves. Psalm 127: 1-2.
- “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 KJV
He began the good work and he is continually working in me. I can trust him to carry the work in me on to completion, to lead me and search my heart. I may not to be able to deal with all of it at once, because I would be overwhelmed. But he is dealing with this part, then he’s dealing with that part, then he’s dealing with this little part over here. But he’s searching my heart and he’s got the plan.
He’s my Creator. He’s my Savior. When I am weak, and ask the Lord for help, knowing the scriptures, I have confidence in him. When my son died, I couldn’t walk the road of grief by myself. I had to lean on the Lord. He was my strength and also provided family and friends to walk along beside me.
So as I look back, I can see that he made me the way I am. He made me to need him. The created needs the Creator.
And I’ve needed him all my life. And I still need him. Looking at the faith chapter, Hebrews 11, I see long lists of those who lived by faith and were great over comers: Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Sarah and many others, who “out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” Hebrews 11:34
The foreign armies that I have to rout are the things dragging me down, keeping me from finishing my race strong. The Lord takes my weaknesses and turns them into strength, because he is my strength. Psalm 5:3
Recognizing my flaws causes me to turn in dependence on the greatest of strengths – the Lord. I am assured that he will come through for me. “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. ” Psalm 5:3
I can pray with expectation. Not an “Oh, well” attitude, but pray in expectation!
I wrote this blog a few days after A Minor Character Woven into the Plot. But did not publish because that next Sunday, the sermon at church was related to this topic. I thought about adding references to that sermon, but then the next sermon applied as well, then the next and the next, although each was given by a different speaker. So here I am back to my original draft, and although not referencing those sermons, knowing confirmation regarding the theme.