Am I the only one who comes from a background where there are certain scriptures I skip over? Bypass because they “irritate” me. And not for the reasons you are thinking. I am not looking for something to gloss over a portion of my life to do something “wrong”. I am talking about the ones that make me feel less than a man. Imply weakness or inadequacy.
For years we “laughed” at a “doubting Thomas” because that might have been the Christian radio sermon. (By the way, radio of that nature was instrumental in my early years. I was a sponge. Not everything I learned was great for me, but I soaked it all up. First sermon I ever “heard” was Charles Stanley preaching on “overcoming adversity”. To this day I can tell you the sermon notes!) Back to Thomas. He was more than someone who doubted. (I do not think Jesus is upset by folks who question. If He was I would be dead. Unlike Mr. Ed the talking horse, who hated skeptics!) Did you ever read John 11:16? Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” Courageous!
Perhaps we need those that remind us of truth! Of the way!
In my life “weakness” is and has been for others. I do not prophesy or call it out. But I have never totally been able to embrace some of it. My dad was a rough and tough fighting man. My mom, solid as the day is long. Children of the Great Depression, life was about “toughing” it out. Never crying, never saying “I love you” and never showing your weakness.
I played sports that way. To the end. Bloodied and bruised. Football, basketball, hockey, wrestling. (And if I did not think I would be good at something, I avoided it.) I competed in school that way. (My brother said to me one time, “you never opened a book and everyone was supposed to be like you.” Uhhh…Yay. Not!) Everything was competitive in nature. (Why would you do it if it wasn’t?) Everything!
Life on the edge. The problem with that lifestyle of “living on the edge” is somebody bleeds, somebody dies. (I was an advocate for “if you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much room.”)
Enter Jesus. Enter “my understanding” of faith. Never, say never. Never give up. Never show them your sweat.
I judged music, sermons and people by faith. One time a man said to my wife and I, “no one is tougher on Lee, than Lee.”
I never knew there were two pedals in a car, unless the other was the clutch next to the gas pedal.
I questioned scripture about weakness. I preached thousands of messages on faith and never giving up. I would never be like “doubting Thomas”. Would I? I would never show cracks in my armor. And I believed faith was and is the answer for EVERYTHING!
I tossed aside scripture that indicated weakness. (I believed it was all God, just perhaps for “someone else”.) I sat in a worship service one morning and they sang about “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,” Habukkuk 3:17. I hated it! I had to preach where there was “no faith”!
I remember being frustrated about a song about a God “who gives and takes away”. I would not sing it! At least not the preceding lines.
So, the past week has been a challenge. I cried because I thought I “lost” my ability to think. I cried because I missed my family. Where was the strength? My body was in disobedience to the gospel of Jesus! Fortunately, it was not a heart attack, a stroke or any such thing. (Unless…God healed me through the prayers of the saints!!!)
So, coming home from the hospital and dealing with things has been a challenge. My faith needs to be towards finances, change, work and health.
So yesterday after 4 days of doing nothing, I decided to go for a walk. I asked my grandson Jacob to go with me. I told him we might find “treasure”. Within a few moments we had found 51¢. I knew it had meaning, but I was on a mission. I was going to be whole! So we walked and came back home.
I sat down and my back snapped. Popped right out of place. Pain set in.
So here this morning, I kept hearing this scripture.
…Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 2:9-11
That italicized, bold part back there? That is me. Struggling with His words.
Paul, my man! Content with weakness? A man above men? What are you talking about???
So, here I am today. In my weakness. Struggling. Fighting. You will never hear me say “uncle”. You might hear me say, “daddy”. At least for today!
Pretty sure this my scripture for a day or two, to see where the faith is. To see what is worth boasting on. Bragging about.
And the 51¢? 51 is the number of praise! The number thought to be indicative of divine revelation. Maybe it was to be 51 sense. Who knows?
Bless your day and your walk!