Having had one of the most difficult two years I ever thought possible, has left me little time to feel as though I can breathe, let alone reflect on anything. So when work sent me to Israel for a conference this week, I decided to take a couple of extra days to sit in one of my favourite places – the Galilee. It would have been a sin to not!
The purpose of the mini break was to give myself some breathing space; as much as is possible when choosing to stay in one of the guest houses owned by the organisation you work for. And it provided me with some time to draw close to Abba and just rest. Rest and reflect. Reflect and rest.
It was after spending time going through one of the books I’d taken with me, when I was chatting with friends back home, that it dawned on me: I may have had a tough two years, and there may have been times when life seemed to completely overwhelm me, that I was going to drown; but here I was, sitting in a foreign country having taken the step to travel alone, rather than allow my circumstances to limit me.
I had asked God to give me strength throughout the whole two year journey at every stage, and here I am, overlooking the Sea of Galilee; standing strong. I have been brought to my knees, like anyone else, but I have also been lifted up again.
As we were talking about strength, and how strong friends thought I was, it hit me – I have been walking in God’s strength all this time, and hadn’t fully realised it until now – now that I have stopped and taken time to rest and reflect.
When we ask God to give us strength, He does. We shouldn’t be surprised by that, and yet how often do you, when people ask, “How on earth are you able to handle… (Insert current difficulty here)?” responsd “I honestly don’t know.”
I know – it is but by the grace of God.
It is in asking for strength we are able to walk through the darkest of nights. It is in asking for strength we witness the power of God upholding us in our weakest moments. It is in asking for strength we are a testimony to those who are watching from the sidelines. It is in asking for strength we know what it is to walk in real strength. God’s strength.
And it is when we give ourselves time to stop and reflect, we realise just how much strength God had granted to us, to walk the toughest parts of the road.
If that doesn’t cause my head to lift a little higher, I don’t know what will.