Relying on God’s Strength, Not My Own

One of my greatest weaknesses is that I believe ‘I can do it all’. I want to be able to work a full-time job, work over 20 hours at my part-time job, volunteer, host dinners at our place, coordinate events, start student organizations, translate blogs/videos, pursue graduate school full-time and be a wife.

As a wife, I want to be a friend to my husband, encourage him in his walk with the Lord and be able to give him wise advise when he needs it. I want to be able to be a strong support in his life and be there every time he needs me.

At home, I want to do all the cooking, cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, and laundry.

In my walk with the Lord, I want to be able to grow spiritually, share what God is doing in my life with others in the hope that they may find some encouragement. If it was up to me, I would love to host a weekly Bible-study with gals in my home, have a consistent discipleship and be able to encourage others to love our Savior with all their hearts and live a life that is bold in following him wherever he leads.

But…. this picture hardly ever looks this way. This is a more accurate view of what my ‘I can do it all” ends up looking like.

At work, I continue to work my full-time job but have asked a cut in the hours at my part-time job. Lately, every time I sign-up for volunteer I’ve had to cancel due to not feeling well or being too exhausted to leave my house. Followed by guilt of not being able to just going out and serving. My husband and I continue to host bi-weekly dinners at our home. But the majority of the time, it is my husband who gets both our home and the dinner ready. I’ve been able to ‘participate’ in the coordination of events without really having an active roll, just bouncing back and forth ideas. Translating has proven to be more time-consuming then I remember and although I have been able to do bits and pieces, I am struggling to find the time for it.

As a wife, I fail often in supporting my husband the way he needs me to. I mostly end up curled up in his arms crying about how tired I am or apologizing for not being able to do more. To which he always gently responds, “you should not worry”. I am so grateful to have a husband that loves me more than he loves himself and follows Christ example in doing this (Ep. 5:25-27).

As I pursue graduate school, well let’s say I hope I could keep it a bit more together for the sake of my husband. I am so excited about the opportunity to pursue school; I really believe that God is calling me to this and that I will be able to serve him better through it. But oh boy, am I afraid of failing in the process. So again, here I am in my husbands arms telling him all the reasons why I shouldn’t go through it. And then the next day, I am back to being excited about going back to school.

At home, I am a mess. I am terrible at cooking consistently. So far, in this last year there have been at least two lapses (that I have noticed) of a solid month in which I have not cooked the simplest meal. Here again, my beloved is picking me up and comforting me by taking the time of his 70+ hours study schedule to make a meal or two or three for us. All along without pointing it out or making me feel guilty. Just quietly loving me and serving me by making a meal. That is including him taking the time to clean, do laundry and wash the cat.

With my walk with the Lord, I am so grateful that I can come running to his presence and learning from him through short times in my devotionals, worship and the encouragement of other believers. I am grateful that I have been able to learn that He welcomes me just as I am, not because of me but because of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:6

The reality is that the majority of the times I find my identity wrapped tight around what I can or cannot do. I let my feelings, emotions, actions and lack of thereof define who I am. Guilt and fear overwhelm my heart and I become paralyzed to attempt to do any of the things I am failing at. This translates to my roles as a wife, as a social worker but more than anything it affects my view of God and my view of Salvation.

Praise be to God and Jesus Christ that we are saved by what Jesus Christ did on the cross and we are sustained through our lives by the work of the Holy Spirit, not by what you and me can accomplish!!! 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 

At the end, my belief that ‘I can do it all’ is a reflection of my sinful heart. My pride and idea of self-sufficiency comes to display [in all of its colors and shapes] in these areas of my life. Writing this is hard. Saying I am proud is hard, and hurts my pride. But the grace I experience at the end of the road of repentance is beautiful. James 4:6 tells us:

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble”.

Again, BUT HE GIVES MORE GRACE. Isn’t that beautiful? When we come to the end of ourselves, recognize and repent from our sins, come to him in repentance, he who sits on the throne and judges over every living creature doesn’t put a tag on us or condemns us; he gives us more grace because of what Jesus Christ already did on the cross.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”.

Ephesians 2:1-9

In whatever stage of your life that you are in. Whether you are a student, a wife, a mommy, a full-time worker – or a combination of these. Let the following truth: “I can’t do it all! This is why Jesus Christ left his eternal glory to come to earth, live the perfect sinless life I can’t live, died on the cross to pay for my sins, resurrected from the death on the third day and ascended to heaven to intercede on my behalf” – sink deep in your heart and become the song of grace that leads you to love our Savior with all your heart, soul and strength, so that He and only He may be glorified and exalted through all we do.

If you like me, need your soul to remember the wonders of the Gospel this morning, I would encourage you to read: Isaiah 53:4-6, Romans 3:23-24, Romans 4:4-5, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Galatians 3:13-14, Philippians 2:6-8, Colossians 1:19-20, Colossians 2:13-14, Titus 3:4-7, Hebrews 2:14-17 and 1 Peter 2:22-25.

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