She states from within the experience what I was trying to communicate about pain not being the opposite of joy
With no further ado: Mrs. Paula Pike:
"StrengthIt's funny -- a number of people have commented on what a strong woman I am. I'm here to tell ya it ain't so. The burden of that image kinda weighs me down, actually ;)
I've been thinking about strength lately. Physically, I'm lacking it. I mean, I'm not noodly so much these days -- but I get worn out very easily. And mentally -- I'm in hibernation mode. Very little power pumping there.
Nehemiah 8:10 says, "The joy of the Lord is [my] strength." Yesterday, Blair and I were both humming songs with those very words. I was doing it very consciously because I felt so weak and felt frustrated by my inability to do much, and I was trying to change my focus. This is the version I was singing -- well, sort of :) I share that link with you because the Billy and Willie production just made me smile -- laugh out loud, actually. Gotta love the piano ornaments ;) (Blair, just hearing the music in the background, asked if someone was having a seizure.)
Blair was singing this song with the same words (which can be heard just over a minute into the song).
Rather an odd thought, don't you think -- that the Lord's JOY is our strength. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't His strength be our joy? (I feel like we've gone down this road before -- but remember what I said about my mental power!)
Ya, no -- we're back to the JOY thing. And as we've learned this fall, the joy comes when we give thanks. (If you're new to this journal -- go back and read some of the older stuff so you know what I mean;)
So any strength that you might see in me comes from the joy He's given me as I've counted God gifts these last few months. (And I confess I've been getting lazy with that lately!) It's not my strength at all!
2 Corinthians 12:9 confirms this. I like the King James version of this verse: And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I know I've shared this verse before, but it's one I need to reflect on again. I am not a strong woman, and I know it. My weakness has not ever been more evident (and the Enemy is good at showing me all the ways I'm weak! Isn't it good to know that our Redeemer doesn't accuse us before the Father? John 5:45).
But as I am weak, His strength is made perfect -- so, like Paul, I say again that I will "glory in my infirmities" instead of complaining about my ailments. I can't help thinking that Christmas epitomizes this concept, as you don't get much weaker than a tiny, new-born baby laid in a manger. Yet in that bundle of weakness we have the Creator of the universe and the Saviour of the world!
Having said all that, you can still pray about my weaknesses! :) There's the physical element. There's the short fuse. There's the negative mindset that makes me snarky and snappy. There's the lack of self-control around sweet stuff, even though I know it makes me feel lousy. Ya, I'd love for you to pray that the power of Christ would rest upon me in all those areas so that there is more of Him and less of me lumbering around here wishing life away. (I love Christmas -- but I find myself wishing it were over with for this year.)"