“Come to Me when you are weak and weary.
Rest snugly in My everlasting arms.
I do not despise your weakness, My child.
Actually, it draws me closer to you
because weakness stirs up my compassion– My yearning to help.
Accept yourself in your weariness,
knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been.
Do not compare yourself with others, who seem to skip along their life-paths with ease.
Their journeys have been different from yours, and I have gifted them with abundant energy.
I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence.
Accept this gift as a sacred treasure: delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light.
Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow Me to bless you richly through it.”
-Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
|Isaiah 42:3 |
“A bruised reed He will not break,
and a faintly burning wick He will not quench;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.”
|Isaiah 54:10 |
” ‘For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but My steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,’
says The Lord, who has compassion on you.”
| Romans 8:26 |
” Likewise, The Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For we don’t know what to pray for as we ought,
but the spirit Himself intercedes for us
with groanings too deep for words.”
“And when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but He was asleep. And they went and woke Him, saying,
“Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”
And He said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying,
“What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey Him?”
When you feel like you are drowning in the storm
and you seem to be perishing
that even the winds and the sea obey Him.
Ask yourself why you are afraid.
And remember that He is good.
My name is Chris and I want to tell you about the greatness of Jesus, as He has so richly shown me in His ability to save me “to the uttermost” (Heb. 7:25) and to sustain me. I grew up with a lot of health problems. From the age of six, I remember being in and out of hospitals, getting breathing treatments and having to go on really strict diets. It was hard, but my parents were so loving and supportive. I couldn’t have done it without them. Thanks to my parents, I don’t remember a day growing up that I didn’t hear the name of Jesus or that we didn’t go to church, which I am so grateful for. My father serves as a deacon at the church I grew up in and my mother used to serve as our Woman’s Mission Director. When I was seven, I walked the aisle to “ask Jesus into my heart” or, at least, so I thought.
Fast-forward to junior high. It was here that, looking back, it became clear that I had not really trusted in Jesus for my salvation. My desires reflected the condition of my heart. The way I dressed and the music I found pleasure in reflected the evilness of my own heart. To help give you a picture, I was the 280 lbs. emo/punk kid and I had no real friends. When I was about eleven years old, I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and later diagnosed with Manic Depression. This season of life was my darkest, as I would constantly fight people, which only was a mask to hide my insecurity and my desire for people to stop making fun of me and just love me. After I was expelled from both of my junior highs, my parents decided to home-school me during high school. I didn’t really care either way, but the Lord was drawing me to Himself and had been for years. Yet, still I ignored Him. I was great at faking it at church and hiding my emotions, even though I was dead inside and struggled with suicidal thoughts. The apex of all this occurred when I was fifteen years old, in something that I’ll never forget.
One day, my mother wasn’t feeling well and was in a lot of pain, so I went with my dad to take her to the doctor. He told her it was probably just a colon infection that would be easily treatable, so he went ahead and did some tests. A couple of days later, we get a call back with the results. The doctor informed us that it was not a colon infection, but that it was Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. One of my mother’s doctors told her she had two months to live. She had two tumors the size of footballs. I felt like David in Psalm 22:1-2, where he cries out to the Lord, saying,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I found no rest.”
It was that sort of anguish that I felt. I kept throwing my good deeds in His face, as if that was enough for Him to accept me. But by the grace of God, my mother is still alive, but still very weak and still in recovery. That following summer, I went to a youth camp. I didn’t really want to go because I was still so angry with God, but my youth pastor insisted and so I gave in and went. That week, the worship leaders were a husband and wife team by the name of Billy and Cindy Foote. They led us in the singing of a song I didn’t know of until that week titled “You Are God Alone.” There’s a line in that song that says, “In the good times and bad, You are on Your throne. You are God alone.” I remember reading that line on the screen and just weeping. The Lord had broken this hard heart of mine. That night, when I heard the Gospel, I knew I needed Jesus to save. I had been so foolish, trusting in my own good works, when He so richly gave His Son for me, to redeem me, and I would later learn, adopt me as His son and giving me the right to call him, “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15). Jesus saved me then, and the burdens I was carrying of anger, of bitterness, of pain… I didn’t have to bear it anymore. He took it upon Himself!
Today, and every day, I have to remind myself of who Jesus is and what the Gospel means for all of life. I still deal with issues realted from me being made fun of all these years, but now I have not just a mother and father who love me and have been my biggest support system, but also a Heavenly Father who loves me like He loves His Son and delights in me in the same way. I no longer have to be ashamed, because “whoever the Son sets free is free indeed” (John 8:36).
This is the good news that has set me free from my bondage to sin and worship of self, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of who I am the foremost” (1 Tim. 1:15). The Lord beautifully redeemed my life and now I am pursuing His calling on my life to pastoral ministry. Oh, the depths of His love for us! How rich it is!
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
But he said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore, I will BOAST all the more GLADLY about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I DELIGHT in weaknesses,
For when I am weak, then I am strong.”