Do you remember the childhood song, “Jesus Loves Me” by Anna Bartlett Warner? It begins this way, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong”. It is such a timeless song. According to blogger Michelle Ule, it was written by Anna’s sister as a poem originally to a beloved child who near death and needed to know the truths surrounding a relationship with Christ. Even as adults we find ourselves in weakness, and at some point (which no one really likes to consider) we too will find ourselves near death. Yet, that is a part of the human condition, this body simply does not last.
Just before high school graduation, I had a near death experience and needed the strength of Christ. Had it not been for the prayers of a neighborhood pastor in the emergency room, I would not be here today. God answered the prayers of my friend that day and my life was spared!
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Now as an almost 40 year old woman, I find myself in need of His strength on a daily basis, but it is not because I am facing death. It is simply because I want to love Him, and love others. Each day I am distracted and pulled in a million directions. It’s like the world is yelling at me and trying to keep me from following Him, to keep me from time with Him. I long to have a prepared heart for Him, but the email notification dings, the dog barks, the chickens need fed, the kids are hungry and when I finally finish caring for all the needs around me and fall into bed, I have a pain in my side that keeps me up all night. How do I keep my focus on Him with all that is going on around me?
Yet, His grace is sufficient for me, His strength is made perfect in my weakness. I love what Revelation 3:20 says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with Him and He with Me.” How beautiful is that? He is at my door, waiting to come in. Life looks different when I invite Him in to the busyness, into the care of the house, the transporting of the kids, the work meetings, and times serving others. We can see His strength instead of all our failures and weaknesses if we simply invite Him in.
As I work with others who do not have faith, I am often perplexed and saddened by their circumstances knowing that if they had a relationship with Jesus they could cope so much better. I can never understand how they are making it. Faith matters! When I was in charge of my life, running the show I had literally almost killed myself, but in the arms of Christ I lived, I was saved, literally! But… I had to allow Him in! If I had spent my life worrying, or not forgiving, or continuing in substance use and self-hatred I would have missed the greatest adventure and blessing, a life with Jesus Christ.
If we stay focused on our weaknesses we will miss seeing His strength.
Will you pray for me as I encounter and serve many who do not know Him? Pray that I am able to be a light and to show His love, pray that I continually keep His strength as my focus. My prayer for you, is like this childhood hymn, that you know Jesus loves you and that when you are weak, know that He is strong. How do you need His strength today? Where and what part of your life do you need to invite Him into?