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Friday, August 24, 2007

"Until He Was Strong...."

"For he (Uzziah) was marvellously helped, till he was strong."
2 Chronicles 26:15

I will never forget the days when my husband and I were away at college. These were the years when God began giving us ministry 'mileage'. In a movie about Blues Music, this was a term used to describe the tough life experiences that translated into an authentic blues song. You can't sing about being broke and hungry unless you have been broke and hungry!

When we were in college, we were broke but thankfully never quite hungry. After my oldest son was born, we felt led by God for me to become a stay-at-home mom. This was a huge faith step since Luke only made $400 per month. Yes, girls, per month. After our bills were paid, gas was put in the car, and groceries were bought, we typically had around $4 to last until the next payday.

Can I tell you I wouldn't trade those days for $1 million dollars? Why? Because just like in the life of Uzziah, we were always marvellously helped. I distinctly remember a time when our car was broken down and in the mechanic's shop. We needed $150 to fix it with no prospects of getting the money in sight. We told no one but instead called upon the promises of God to provide our needs. The day we were to pick up the car, a plain white envelope was in our campus mailbox with exactly $150 inside. There were many other instances of this same kind of miraculous provision that can only be explained by a wondrous work of the Lord on our behalf.

Though our income is a bit more than $400 a month now, realistically, we are still a family of six surviving on one income in a two-income society. Living in the materialistic age we do, if I am honest I will tell you sometimes Satan dangles the world in front of my eyes and I long for it - especially if it involves a big house, a new car that doesn't reek of chicken nuggets, and yes, a great pair of shoes.

But then I think, "If I had all the world could offer, would God have the opportunity to marvellously help?" If His own people are not content to dwell in circumstances that reveal His wonders, how will His fame spread? Somebody will be famous alright - it will either be us or Him. And because God will not share His glory with another, the name we make for ourself may be one we'd prefer not have.

Paul said it best in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:

"But He [God] 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."

No matter the source of your hardship, God still seeks to work wonders through it! Only our weakness provides the proper contrast for God's strength. If His people cease to be marvelled by His works, how will anyone else be? I am so grateful for the life I have been given that continuously has me looking forward to a God Show. When is the last time He 'marvellously helped' you?

Dear Father - I will never get over bragging on Your goodness to my family! Oh how I praise you for provision, completeness, and strength. If I weren't weak, why would You need to be strong? Less of me - More of You. Amen.

I would love for you to visit my personal blog, The Preacher's Wife.

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Blogger Denise said...

I enjoyed this, thanks for sharing sweet one.

August 24, 2007 at 2:37 AM  
Anonymous mandy said...

so true!

August 24, 2007 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

Lisa I can totally relate to your story, I never saw God's hand more evident than when I had nothing and He provided!!!

August 24, 2007 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Chris @ Come to the Table said...

"Only our weakness provides the proper contrast for God's strength."

I have seen His provision over and over. Thank you for reminding me today of Who is the source of all my needs.

I wouldn't want it any other way and yet I still find myself trying to figure out how everything will be taken care of.

August 24, 2007 at 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Only our weakness provides the proper contrast for God's strength.

Wow, Lisa, I copied this too before I saw Chris copy the same thing. Profoundly true....

Wonderful post. I stand marveled over how God provides -EXACTLY- what we need. No more, no less often times.

Wonderful post. I thank God for your sincere heart that points us to Jesus.

August 24, 2007 at 3:16 PM  
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August 24, 2007 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Awesome, Lisa. true. I've been praying for my hubby re: provision because, as he knows God, but isn't walking with Him right now, Big feels like it's his entire responsibility to provide for us, and I can see the anxiety this entails. It's also part of that "man" thing, about being the provider. But, I've been hinting to Big and praying to God about Big's letting go of the extreme burden he carries. Thanks for the reminder to keep praying for him.

August 25, 2007 at 12:25 PM  

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