As we set off for Micah’s school in the morning, he often asks me, ‘Can I go on your shoulders?’ More often than not I carry him to school – it’s something we both enjoy.
These days I’m saying the same thing to God – can I go on your shoulders? Can you carry me for a bit? I don’t have the strength in myself right now. I can’t muster up the discipline in myself to spring out of bed, I find getting out of bed so hard. I feel at least mildly depressed. I can’t conjure up faith from myself that everything will work out brilliantly, I need God to provide the faith. I feel like the father in Mark 9 who said “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
I can’t pull myself out of this greyness, I know that only God can rescue, only He can restore hope, can make me live. He’s teaching me about grace right now.
Paul says in 2 Cor 12:9-10: 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, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I can’t say I’m delighting in my weaknesses – I don’t like feeling weak, I grieve for the Paul before this happened who had a (seemingly) greater handle on the way things worked, a more stable view on God’s ways. This experience has shaken my view of myself and my place in the world. It’s also revealed how much I rely on myself, and don’t see God as a gracious Father.
A couple weeks ago a wise woman called Cathie said to me, God always acts towards us with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He is always loving towards us, always kind. He is always patient towards us. He is always, always gentle. And He wants us to treat ourselves, and others, in the same way.
I don’t find it easy being patient with myself, nor to be gentle and kind. I have high expectations of myself. As I feel my weakness so acutely right now, I’m having to shed many expectations I place on myself, and to throw myself on the grace of God, calling out with more sincerity than ever before, ‘God, without you, I really am nothing!’
God, you are my saviour, my only hope. Without you I’m nothing – I cannot rescue myself. I cannot pull myself from this place. Shine your light on me. Fill me with your hope once again. Don’t let my pride keep me from experiencing the endless grace of your love. I bind myself to you Jesus, my saviour and my God.