We’ve lost a lot of trees lately. Tiny leaves were just breaking out of the one in this picture when it stooped over, without warning, and dove into the lake – right where the dock would have been come summer. Then the tops of two more twisted off in a wild wind, barely missing the house. Another broke off 15 feet in the air before crushing the rhododendrons below.
Every one of those trees looked fine before it fell. There was nothing to warn us of the rot inside. But each was nearly hollow from the ground to the place where they broke off, unable to bear the weight above.
It makes me wonder – how strong am I, on the inside? When the floods or the winds come along – will I stand under the weight and the pressure? Where does my strength come from?
I’ve gathered a few passages from Scripture that speak of how we find real strength, even when we are empty inside. Look some of them up and ponder them a while (there are brief excerpts below; click on the links to get the whole thing).
What do they say? What do they mean? And what is the Lord saying to you through them? Share what you learn here if you like; I’d love to know.
- Psalm 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength”
- Isaiah 40:28-31 “Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength”
- 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit not of fear but a spirit of power and love and self-control”
- Ephesians 6:10-18 “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God…”
- James 1:2-8 “The testing of your faith produces steadfastness”
I close with this prayer for you, taken from St. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians in chapter 3:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
© 2015 Sarah Christmyer.
Arlita Winston says
Just reading this combination of Scriptures strengthens me! The origin of my strength isn’t myself after all!
Wow Sarah! This is good stuff! We travel along the road of our life many times worrying about which path to take. We must trust, no surrender to our Lord.
Sarah Christmyer says
Glad you like it! It’s so helpful to me, to remember these things.
Victoria Shroyer says
The past month our one year old grandson was found to have brain cancer. The shock of this news pushed me, Grammy, into hyper mode of caretaker for his two brothers, 6 and 3 so the baby could receive the care he needed from his parents. I thought many times to my self , I can’t believe how strong I am during this painful time! I couldn’t get over my self… Then from no where I became so angry, tired, faith wavering needless to say I was falling apart alone.
Then your article clearly reminded me exactly where my strength and faith came from. This was Gods perfect timing for me through and with your help Sarah. I will not forget who totally helps and loves our family. My strength and faith lie in our most precious Father, God…
mitch carroll says
How true. I’ve been on a journey and thinking about the task but not about the inside and what I’m supposed to be doing in my mission. This post really helps me to get centered and refocus on my interior life. Did you ever meet Thomas Merton? Thanks so much for your gifts. Blessings.