We’ve all had moments of spiritual weakness,
when our current circumstances are beyond our strength and acceptance.
We don’t see new mercies each day, only new pain.
In my 1-12 grades in public education, we had to meet physical requirements in Physical Education class to receive a Presidential Patch.
The standards were high, even for a tomboy like me.
We had to do sit-ups, jump rope, 50 yard dash, 880yard pant-a-thon, stretch against a yardstick and a few other things I can barely remember. The worst was the dreaded flexed arm hang.
I usually could make the criteria for each of the other items, but the flexed arm hang was a killer. It was always the last event on the list, too, so I knew the coveted blue patch with the embroidered gold Eagle would be mine, and only mine, if I could keep my chin above that bar for over a minute. Maybe it was three minutes. All I know is that for several years this event kept me from winning.
In high school, I was competing against the other smallest-girl-in-high school, Barb. We both did a bajillion sit-ups. We both ran like the wind. We reached, hopped and jumped through all the hoops the President set. I never could figure out why he cared how many sit-ups I could do, but after seeing his picture in the news, I was pretty sure I could do more than he could.
Then, the final event, the flexed arm hang. I can still see her face while she hung on and on and on and on. She was athletic, flexible, fast, cute, and apparently, strong enough to beat the school record for the flexed arm hang.
The stakes were high.
My turn at the bar came and I hung and hung and shook and hung and hoped I didn’t smash my chin against the bar. Several times I had to pull myself back up as my chin neared the metal enemy.
It wasn’t pretty, seeing me almost cry while clenching a bar high above the gym floor (high to me, I wasn’t even 5 foot tall yet), writhing in agony and knowing those who weren’t cheering me on were mocking me. At this point, I thought the president was ridiculous. I KNEW he couldn’t do this.
The gym teacher held a stop watch in her hand, her thumb on the top button, waiting to mark my failure. She called out the time occasionally enough, which made me clench and stretch and shake even more.
Finally, I dropped. I couldn’t win.
I qualified for the President’s approval, but I couldn’t beat Barb. II didn’t have enough strength.
Everyone agrees that when an athlete fails, they need more practice.
Why don’t we think the same in Christianity?
Why do we blame the Lord when our faith is weak?
The Lord calls it as it is.
But, he just doesn’t leave us hanging, writhing and clenching our teeth in pain as He points out our weakness.
He offers us His strength.
He doesn’t just offer His strength, He exchanges it for our weakness.
The failing is on our part, for not taking what’s offered.
Are you barely keeping your chin above the bar of adversity?
Look up, friend, look up.
The weakness of faith is from us, not from the Object of our faith, the Lord Jesus.
If you’re fainting, and your faith is small, let Him perfect your weakness into His strength.