life, My Faith

Weakness and peace

I’ve been reading and studying through a Bible study on Anxiety and as I watched the companion video on Moses, this quote hit me because it feels so opposite of what the world would say but also because it feels so much like what He’s been trying to teach me.

I don’t love weakness. I mean who really does? Having to depend on other people and ask for help feels icky. I mean sure I like to help others. I just don’t like others to help me necessarily. Why can’t I just be the strong one? True answer…because I’m not.

But none of us really are. I cling to that illusion of strength with both hands, white knuckled sometimes. I don’t want people to see me cry. I don’t want to be dependent on another person. All the things.

And that’s part of my problem. I have seen sweet times where people have been there for me. People have taught me how to accept help. I remember once a friend said something to the effect of: if you don’t let people help you, you’re denying them of the chance to be blessed. Ok then.

But as I think about it, this is a problem in my relationship with God too. I am supposed to be completely dependent on Him. Yet, how many times do I approach Him with my problems followed by how He could fix them. And listen, if you just do it right like this, we will all be happy.

As I write that, I realize how ludicrous it sounds. My plans for fixing my problems are so much better than whatever the creator of the universe could come up with, right? Not even close.

If I’m strong, if I have everything I need in and of myself, then I wouldn’t need anyone…including a holy God. That’s a problem. Because I do need Him and I do not have everything I need without Him.

In a culture that has taught us to be strong and that the only person we can fully trust is ourselves, it’s quite a foreign concept. I want to give off strength, even if that strength is an illusion. If you think I have it together, you’ll never know how truly broken I am. You’ll never catch sight of my weakness.

It’s something I am being convicted of. I rarely let my guard down enough to be truly vulnerable. If that continues, it could stunt my growth as a person and as a Christian.

And then it comes down to that sticky subject of faith. Do I fully trust Him to do what is best for me? My answer is always, I want to. But faith is hard. I know what I want to happen and what actually happens don’t always match. I know surprises can be bad. I don’t ever want to be caught off guard.

Tonight I read Psalm 4:8, which I’ve read many times before, but it hit different. God alone keeps me safe. Alone. Nothing else. I can’t keep me safe.

It makes me think of growing up. I went through a period where I could not stand to sleep with the door closed. I was afraid something would happen to me and I wouldn’t know about it, like a fire or a burglar or who knows what. Looking back, that’s silly because, and as I thought later when I wouldn’t sleep with the door open, I stand a better chance of waking up if they have to get through the door…whatever “they” is.

But I remember being terrified of the door being closed. I wanted to be able to protect myself. What makes this even more ridiculous is I am a really sound sleeper. A train could potentially go through my bedroom without waking me up. Loud noises rarely wake me up. Yet, I thought I could protect myself while I slept. See the irony.

But this verse says in peace I will both lie down and sleep. Not just lie down and wait. We’ve probably all had those times, or maybe it’s just my lifelong fear of something bad. I know I’ve laid down and not slept because I’m just waiting. Waiting for something bad or building up something bad in my own mind.

But this says both lie down AND sleep. And why can I sleep? Because I’m being protected. It made me think of Psalm 23 and the shepherd verses. The shepherd lies down in the doorway because nothing is getting to the sheep except through him.

And that’s what God wants to do for me. He wants to say, hey…lay down and go to sleep. Nothing bad will happen unless it gets through me. You are safe with me. Just rest.

There’s so much more to unpack there but for now just resting sounds good. Just trying to be weak in His hands, knowing I’ve never been all that strong in my own.

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