I can’t do it in my own strength. Repeat. Repeat. Whose strength, then? Is someone else washing the dishes, changing the diapers? This idea of “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me” (Philippians 4:13) bewilders me. How do I know when He is empowering me? Is it when I no longer stumble? no longer am weak? Something tells me no. Perhaps it’s just another fancy way of writing “surrender”. If I trust enough, knowing that God will take care of me and help me when I need it, rely on His grace, which should be sufficient for me, THEN I will have the strength, because it will be His strength.
“Now we cannot…discover our failure to keep God’s law except by trying our very hardest (and then failing). Unless we really try, whatever we say there will always be at the back of our minds the idea that if we try harder next time we shall succeed in being completely good. Thus, in one sense, the road back to God is a road of moral effort, of trying harder and harder. But in another sense it is not trying that is ever going to bring us home. All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, “You must do this. I can’t.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Well said, Jack. It isn’t a folding of the hands or a sitting and waiting. We must be fully engaged, full of momentum and perseverance, ripe for humility and love, before that crucial “Help!” He knows just the right time. The frustration, anger, resentment, tears – they all bring us back to Him, in His time. Lord, grant me patience!