Our dear friend, Jodelle, writes wonderful daily devotions…thought I would share this one….
Delle’s Daily Devotion #777 – Overcoming Weakness
John 16:33 – “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The wind…when it doesn’t want you to move, it doesn’t let you. You have no control over yourself when it comes to strong winds. I set out on Mother’s Day in morning for a good long paddle despite the fact that I could clearly see the wind was strong and “whitecapping” the water. I was determined though, and jumped on my board anyway. It was cold, with the air about 50 degrees. My saving grace was that the water temperature was about 70 degrees so my feet stayed warm, because I’m useless when my feet are cold. I pushed hard against the wind for 45 minutes and I could feel frustration build up within me as I was only going about 10 feet about every ten minutes. As I kept pushing I started crying, at first because the wind was fierce and mean and I was frustrated, and then because I missed my mom. While many other people were spending this day with their loving moms, I was pushing against fierce wind in the same waters I had dumped her ashes 12 years earlier. In a way, my tears were a pity-party of frustration, and in another way they were emotional release in a moment of weakness. I was weak pushing against the howling wind and the waves underneath me trying to keep my board steady. “Why am I out here?” I thought. “I could be at home, cuddled under a warm blanket, but instead I’m out here…why?” Then the scripture above came to me “…in this world you will have trouble, but take heart – I have overcome!” Jesus spoke those words to his disciples and also to me that day. With him, I could overcome weakness, whether physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. Not only could I, but I for sure WILL overcome, because He said it! In that moment, I knew why I was still pushing out there. I knew that sometimes you have to do things in your weakness that lead to strength. You have to push past pain in physical therapy to get your functions back; you have to lift heavier weights to get stronger muscles; you have to run farther to make running become easier; you have to test yourself and push past your comfort zone to become a little more comfortable in living for Christ. Sure, I could cuddle under a blanket on a cold windy day, but that doesn’t make me a better paddler for Jayden and Brooklyn Boyce, the two children I am paddling for on June 20th. Stepping out of my comfort zone does.
For it’s when I am weak, then I am strong. Not “for when I am weak, I am strong.” No, I’m not strong yet. It’s the “then” that’s crucial. “Then” is when I’m pushing my body past it’s comfort zone. “Then” is when we step out of our comfy lifestyle and reach out to someone who hasn’t heard about Christ. “Then” is when we let go of our egos, and apologize to someone we’ve wronged. “Then” is when we give up things in our life that are hard to give up, for the sake of drawing closer to God. It’s only after “Then” , we can get stronger and overcome.
Life is hard, and sometimes we think we have to make ourselves a little too comfortable in order to overcome it. But actually it’s the comfort zone that keeps us from overcoming. How can we overcome if we sit back and do nothing and have a pity-party? If life has become all about comfort for you, and you tend to run from anything that might be painful to face, it’s time to push against the wind. It’s time to face that painful circumstance, or difficult person, or addictive habit, or anything that keeps you running from yourself and the person God wants you to be.
You are weak, we all are. But we can’t sit back and just let life’s winds deter us from overcoming and becoming stronger. We can’t be defeated by our pasts, our pains, and our feelings about ourselves. We’ve got to get uncomfortable and push and get weak, so “then” we are strong! Whatever it is you are defeated by, or running from, or weak because of – step up to it today and give it to God and ask Him to help you face it. With Christ by your side you have already overcome because He has overcome it all, but you have to be willing to own up to it and face it. No more comfort zones. Comfort zones are for those who have no desire to grow stronger. Yet, from what I understand, you can never be strong enough for God. Like I tell my clients, “Push past the pain…pain is weakness leaving the body.” “Then”, we are strong.
Jesus, thank You that You have overcome. Thank You that by pushing through my weakness, I will overcome with You. I ask that You give me courage to face my weaknesses and push past the pain, so “then” I become strong with You, and become who You desire me to be. I commit to leaving the comfort zone behind, and pushing through the “winds” of life. I love you. In Your name I pray, Amen.