Juggling Fire

Hitting Bottom: How Tough is a Samsonite?

You’ll have to forgive the glumness of my last two posts. Although I have nothing to hide, and I resolved long ago to remain transparent, I am not usually one to lay out my naked feelings for all the world to see. God has been challenging me, however, to do just that. I am finding healing in these studies, and although I don’t always express them with class, I hope my words bring healing for others, or at least someone. After all, if we keep our trials to ourselves, what’s the point of prevailing through them, right?

My wrap-up to Philippians for the University of the Nations School of Biblical Studies.

It’s one of the most well-known verses in the Bible: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).”

How often do we quote this Scripture? More appropriately, how often do we not quote this Scripture? Do we really believe it every day, like when we want to sit down during worship because our feet hurt?

“I just cannot stand here another minute,” we think.

Why don’t we ever call on Jesus to strengthen us during these moments? I mean these are the times we really need to conjure up this verse – the times we think we don’t need strength. The times we don’t feel all that guilty about being weak.

We often fail to recognize those “little” moments of frailty, and although we should depend on Christ’s strength in all situations and occasions, it’s perfectly OK to be human. Paul made his famous proclamation of faith from prison, so it is meant to get us through the really hard times, and for me, it has.

During my 20s, when I thought life couldn’t get any worse, I rested on this Scripture day after day after day.

In those days, panic attacks, acute anxiety, and a grave depression had enveloped me. I would ask God night after night after night to end my suffering, to take my life, quietly in my sleep because I couldn’t bear the thought of even trying to handle any more pain. Each morning I awoke, still alive, spared again by the God who had a purpose for me. I would start a new day – again – reluctantly and with more heartache than the day before, nevertheless thinking, “If God spared me for one more day then he must have his reasons.”

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

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