Strength. That thing of mighty men and women. Muscle and endurance; toughness and resiliency; brute force and persistence; never-ending and never-failing.
And yet, without warning, we can lose all of our strength. It can be swept away in a heartbeat with a few words. A diagnosis. A tragedy. A lost opportunity. A lost job. A lost loved one.
In a moment’s notice our strength can be sapped. Our hope can be diminished. Our greatest fears can be realized. Our fight can seem lost. We become demoralized and frightened. We are suddenly as helpless as infants and we struggle to find our way. The “why?” keeps ringing in our ears.
So we pray and we cry and we hold on to one another. And somehow we survive. Perhaps not in the way we had hoped. Maybe not as long as we would like. But we survive. Strength returns. Different strength. Renewed strength. And we are changed. Our misfortune gives us the wisdom to cherish what is good and right in our lives. Our suffering reminds us that our blessings always outweigh our pain. We are lifted by the love and prayers of others and as the Alleluias ring out at Christmas, we know that we are never alone. When we light the pink candle this Sunday on our Advent wreaths we are reminded that in our longing there is also hope. O Come Emmanuel!
I often wonder why Christ came to Earth as a poor child. Why not as an Emperor/King? Or like a superhero? Why not as an Omnipotent God blazing in glory and power and might? And as I often do, I suppose I miss the point. As humans, we have an amazing capability of adapting to our environment and more importantly our circumstances. Jesus came to Earth as much a human as me. A baby who was feeble, week, helpless and frightened. My Savior walked my walk and gave His life for mine. Jesus knew how to be strong. My job is to make my life worthy of His love and sacrifice.
Wishing you strength and peace and love this Advent season,
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!