2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. As I turn once again to meditate on how to view my weaknesses and allow God’s strength to shine through I realized how chained I am with my own pride. Pride (in-ordinate self-esteem or conceit) is a subtle but destructive, task master. He keeps us bound by our own thoughts–effectively limiting our growth and progress. He stands behind with his whip–don’t ask for help, don’t seek wisdom from others, don’t admit your need. He threatens shame, disclosure and humiliation.
I know I have been manipulated by his control on and on through out my life. But I also recognize that through the power of the Holy Spirit the complete hold he used to have on my life has been shrinking. I see progress! I am so grateful that as I humble myself under the power of the Lord, I do not have to serve pride master, but I am set free to serve my true Master. It is marvelous.
Our Life Group has been studying the book of James. We were finishing up this week with the passage that included are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the LOrd. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:14-16) It is frustrating to admit that I have not felt well since December 28. I came down with some kind of bug–fever, headache etc. I began to feel a bit better by January 3, but then came down with some kind of sinus thing January 5. I have dealt with sinus stuff before, and it wipes me out. Talk about feeling weak! Tuesday, January 16–I was in at my church in the office, because I had been studying this passage, I felt I needed to ask the people there to pray for me for the final vestiges to be gone. It is hard to admit, yes, I still do not feel as strong as I need to be. So I asked. Suddenly our lead pastor shows us, and they graciously prayed for me.
Somehow we ended up discussing the different levels of faith and he encouraged me to word my confession of faith. I think we both realized we need and want to grow more in all levels of faith. As I pondered our conversation I realized that there are some areas of my “faith” muscles that I have exercised a lot and they are strong because of their use. Other areas not as much. Asking them to pray for me came after I had prayed much for myself. The next few weeks are going to be extremely busy and taxing and to be honest the level of strength I had that day, I did not think I could fulfill my obligations. I believe Jesus is my healer and my Great Physician. I know He hears me when I cry out to Him. I trust Him. But I obeyed the scriptures, and asked.
So later that day, I was with my daughter in law. She mentioned that when Andrew my son, took his multiple vitamins he stayed healthy, had I considered it? This is where the confession aspect kicked in. For some reason, this past holiday season came with an extra dose of grief and I confess, a bit of depression. Several unexpected deaths, medical diagnosis of others stirred up past emotions. I stopped taking my vitamins, did not eat as healthy as I normally do–no wonder I was having difficulty getting stronger. For those of you who are not aware, grief is also sneaky. It can show up in some ways you don’t always recognize at first. The Holy Spirit whispered, “it is grief”. OK, show me how to walk out this new trial, Father. More worship, more tears, more grace, plus more grand-kid hugs, and I made it through. But with a weakened body. So now it is time to make better choices.
What do you hate to admit? Maybe that is an area where pride, the taskmaster is holding you hostage. Even when the Holy Spirit whispered “it is grief”, I did not want to acknowledge it. I did not want to admit I was struggling with depression. The pride master had me in his grips. When I began to admit my struggle, things began to turn around. Thank God we serve a God who sets us free and wants us to run to him when we are in our times of trouble. I admit at times I am still learning that lesson. When we live under pride master authority, instead of God’s authority, we live smaller, less effective lives. When we confess our weakness, or need, it is then we can receive the help we are seeking
. Even if it is a vitamin!