There are many times as a Pastor where spending time with people has left me completely drained and exhausted. Add to that a week where kids are sick, a spattering of sleepless nights and an overloaded schedule, busy housework demands, a few crazy hormones and not enough exercise and you have a recipe for a Pastor, mother and wife who has insufficient strength to meet the demand and wants to quit everything and run away.
When was the last time you spent time with a girlfriend who, after having spent time with her you were left completely exhausted, weary, drained, spent…. Chances are it happened to you this week. Maybe it wasn’t a girlfriend but a family member, a husband, a work colleague, a neighbour….It may not have been a person but a something else…..
Life in general has the ability to sap us of strength or leave us in short supply. The strength we have is a small measure and was never intended to be enough. God never intended for us to be self sufficient but nor did he intend for us to be the takers, drainers, taxing, wearying or worrying, and exhausting to be around.
When God created Eve, he created her to be a companion and a helper. God created Eve to be a giver, to lend a hand, to add strength. What a beautiful picture of womanhood: To be a great friend and companion and to add strength and help bring strength to those around her. As a mum, as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend and even as a stranger…God intended for you to be a companion..to add strength and bring help to any one of the many relationships in your world.
Before Adam and Eve sinned, the Bible gives us a delightful picture of life as it should have been. Adam and Eve did not know weakness, weariness, hardship, disease, decay, worry, pressure, stress…They had work to do and responsibilities but had an unlimited source of strength to do what was required of them. ‘Weakness’ and ‘weariness’ and ‘lack’ and feeling ‘spent’ was not in their language. Work and weary did not mix. Caring for something or someone was never intended to be a drain. Not only were they created with a capacity to work but were given access to resource to match the responsibilities so that responsibility was not a burden.
Adam and Eve had strength in spades. Not only was Adam strong because he was made in the image of His creator, he was given his own measure of strength and a companion who would add strength (Eve), and add to that the constant connection with their creator who had an unlimited supply of strength and a garden that required them to work but work had no demands. God’s intention for you is strength in spades…not to do nothing, not to just be a taker, not to just receive strength on many levels but to live out God’s purpose and fulfil your responsibilities with ease and to be a conduit of that strength.
It was never God’s intention for us to be in lack, weak, weary, taxed or takers.
Reality is we do get weary and sapped of our strength. The conversation God has with Adam and Eve in the garden after they ate the fruit, gives us great insight into what the curse did to our strength. Work became more than our strength could match and the more drained and taxed and broken we are the harder it is to remain strong and to give strength. The more independent from God we are, the more weary and wearying we become and the harder it is to supply what others needs from us. Sure we can fool ourselves into thinking we are strong enough and for some of us the measure of strength we’ve given is profound. We live in a world where selfishness and taking is at the core of human relationships and more people are sicker, weaker, wearied than ever. The measure of strength they had in the natural was all they had but it would be drained out of them because work became taxing and a challenge. Strength, power, authority, and grace would not be enough but it is never meant to be. God always intended that self reliance was a part of the curse and that we would always need him.
A new normal sets in for humanity: hardship, weakness and a strength that had limits. The curse of sin bought with it toil and labour and a work load that would no longer be easy, wives would try to use their power and strength to manipulate, intimidate and control in order to gain what they didn’t have; labour would be a struggle and painful; Adam would have to work the land but the ground would not produce or give forth fruit without sweat and difficulty. No longer would the strength they had be enough for the demands.
BUT …The curse was never the end. The curse being broken was always a part of the plan. The curse has been broken. Jesus was always part of the plan. He clothed himself in humanity and felt the full brunt of weakness, weariness, brokenness, rejection, humiliation, tiredness, and ultimately pain, agony and death so that we could break sin. he made a way to be reconnected to the unlimited power of God. His life, his power, his strength, his enabling, his grace, his anointing is available to those who. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in me.
2013 is a year of discovering God’s intentions in the midst of your reality: His strength is always enough so as long as I am drawing from His measure. I have a measure of strength that will never match the demands on my life and the calling on my life and the supernatural mandate on my life. He has asked me to walk in the arena of the impossible. nut he never expected us to live in that arena without him. It is in connection with him I find strength and power. My own measure of strength is not enough and that is the power of relationship with Jesus. He is my strength and my source. 2013 is about discovering life without limits…connecting to the unlimited strength, power and enabling of God.