By Rev. Chip Edens
Today’s passages invite us to think about where we find strength for the journey we must take in life.
Conventional wisdom says if you are going to find the strength to face the challenges in life you must first find it within yourself. Be strong! Don’t give up! Worker harder! You can do it! We have heard these words many times.
Yet the wisdom of Solomon and the Psalms challenge these hollow words. “The glory of young men is their strength, and the honor of old men is their gray hair.” Indeed, while we may have felt invincible in our younger days, we learn, as we grow older that we are quite mortal. While initially this insight may bring concern – when we realize through sickness and hardship just how mortal we are – the insight is equally a gift because we become aware that God can and must be our source of strength in this life.
“Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices.” What joy we feel when we discover that God can be our source of strength in times of trouble. When we are weak, God is strong.
There are times we will doubt this truth. Therefore, it is essential, as the writer of Ephesians suggests, that we be fervent in prayer, opening ourselves to our God’s love who has the capacity to breathe life into us through the Holy Spirit. As we open ourselves, we will discover a strength that comes not from us but from God whose greatest desire is to strengthen us with the armor of love.
Have you ever thought it was up to you to get through life?
What are your greatest assets that you can call upon in times of need?
How might God become your strength?
What would it mean for you to trust and rely on God’s power in your life?
God, you are God and we are not. Help us to see the limits of our power and the limitless power of your love. Amen.
Rev. Chip Edens is Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Charlotte, North Carolina