Ezekiel 34:16 (NIV)
I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak…
Do you ever feel like giving up on a weak area in your life? Just grow so weary with your own weakness that your heart whispers a tired I quit. As in, I quit trying to change…I quit hoping I can be different in this area. Have you ever heard a gentle whisper back that says, Good.
In keeping with my “being real” vibe for this blog, I can share that my heart whispered those words this morning. I have been praying about and attempting to face head-on this default, almost instinctive, way I have with my oldest child. Simply put without trying to flower it up, I get on her for stuff that just doesn’t matter. And I do it to a greater degree with her. I think it’s part of being the first-born (I was a first-born and am married to a first-born!). She is so much like me…she wants to please and follow the rules and be “good.” We have never used terms like “good girl” or “bad girl” with our children, but like so many first-borns out there, she wants to meet and exceed expectations. And I am so proud of her. She’s amazing. But I recognize in her, as I have learned of myself, the vulnerability to striving that can develop and the discouragement that comes with imperfection. Oh the tangled web spun of my fear of imperfect mothering and the demands I create not just for myself but then lay upon my child’s shoulders at times. Just this past Sunday in worship my heart cried out to God…Break this off of my life, Lord…Stop the cycle…Teach me another way…
So, this morning I woke up late. I am rushing and scurrying and “hurry up-ing!” my girls for school. I fuss at Rivers a bit for getting sidetracked. We get in the car. I apologize for raising my voice. We pray on our way to school. She hops out with a ‘have a good day’ and I proceed to my next drop off at preschool. I come home for my cup of coffee and my heart whispers those words…I quit. And I sense the smallest whisper say, good.
Good? Good to give up on changing? Good to give up on becoming strong in my weakness? But I know what He means…Good, Vanessa, for you to finally reach a place where you give up on trying so hard in your own strength. Good for you to finally grow so weary in transforming yourself…now, maybe you’ll let me do the changing, build up the broken down areas, fill your weakness with My strength.
I stumble across the scripture above as I am looking up another one. It stops me. I feel the gentle, prodding fingers of His Spirit touching my heart. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak. God is the binder, the strengthener. I get this image of a wounded person telling the physician waiting to tend them…No thanks. I got this. I know you are far more capable than me and I know I don’t even have the right perspective or ability to heal myself, but let me give it a try. Let me impress you with how hard I’ll work at something I can never accomplish on my own.
No matter how long we have been knowing Jesus, a day or a decade, everyday is a matter of trust. Not just knowledge. Not the sweat of our spiritual brow. It’s trust. Trusting He can and will bind up our injuries. Trusting He can and will fill our weak areas with His strength. But I don’t think He pins us down to the exam table and forces us. He lets us choose. And when we choose to try and try and try to do and be better He lets us do it until it wears us out and we limp over to Him and say Ok, I quit.
And we hear, Good. And it is.