I was reading in Psalms 18 one morning this week–giving thought to words describing powerful attributes of God. You know words like rock, fortress, shield, deliverer, my stronghold—just what did it mean that He is my rock or my shield in today’s world?
I sat there pondering, reflecting on life and how we survive these days only as we focus on a strength not our own. At that moment, I am not sure which I noticed first– the verse, “I love you, O Lord, my strength” or the tag from the teabag on my morning cup–“live in your strength.” I laughed out loud. How contradictory!
Imagine me living in my own strength.
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I thought about life lived that way. Sort of like swimming in an empty concrete pool. Or trying to start my car without gas. How can I possibly begin a single day in my own power? No amount of mustering positive thoughts and energies enable me to live strong on my own.
Webster defines strength as the state or quality of being strong. Having the power to resist force-resisting attack. Can you imagine fighting a bear in your power? Or raising a two year old! I cannot even write a blog in my own strength and feeble are those efforts.
I did some research on the tea company– called Yogi tea. Yes, the company promotes the holistic approach to healthy living and the beneficial properties of herbs. I can enjoy the tea without integrating the slogans on the tea tags!
There must be a reason “the strength of the Lord” phrase is sited hundreds of times in the Bible. One of my favorites is Nehemiah 8:10–“the joy of the Lord is my strength.” The people of Israel had returned from 70 years of captivity, had completed the Temple rebuilding and now had finished reconstructing the walls around Jerusalem. There were numerous problems still before them, but they are told to celebrate – to be joyful in the fact that the Lord is with them and will lead them. And because He is, they can be!
The words “the absence of stress while drinking tea” encircle the inside rim of my Sereni.tea cup. A life without stress—when we drink tea. I don’t think so. But as we live in His strength, filled with His power to fight life’s battles, knowing His joy on the journey, consumed by His love—with or without tea. . .
we can live unstressed!
And I can do this. I can make this journey . . .
But only . . .
I can do all things –everything– through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13