Today has been what you might call a "pretty bum day".
Had a few setbacks- health wise, school, and just feeling rather worn down in general. I believe I'm getting attacked spiritually, which may be 99% of this. In the throes of my self pity (yeah....) I decided to read a bit in Philippians to look for encouragement. What I found wasn't exactly what I anticipated, or really wanted to be honest.
Usually whenever anyone thinks of Philippians, often you think of "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". For a second there, I was mentally exclaiming "YES! I can do this! Christ is strengthening me! This too shall pass! Tomorrow will be better!!"
Then I decided to read it in context.
(Side note, Christians tend to put bible verses out of context alot. This irks me. Simply because it's basically twisting the Word of God to suit our own needs, and misinterpreting scripture. Yikes! That is kind of scary!)
Philippians 4 11- 13 says: I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Hey now! Paul says that he has learned to be content WHATEVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. Big difference, in my opinion. He goes on to say that he knows what it's like to be in the "setback" "bummer" kind of situations, yet he is is content. He was an APOSTLE, and He didn't even have it "all good" obviously, none of the apostles did. He was muscling through because he can do all things through Christ.
This is not a trite quote to help yourself buck up because things will get better, like it's often used...but a lesson to learn and a message to be content. To take what comes, and with Christ's help, grow and learn in the situation. Rise above. (Shall we say, on Eagles wings?) Or, you must plow on through. (Not so eagle-ish. Probably more like Job would say; "Why me?" But I trust you.)
God doesn't say how long He will want us to go through things, nor does He make the promise that it will be easy. But He will strengthen us, whatever comes. Again, it's so easy to spout the trite Christian happy greeting card "He won't give you more than you can handle."
I say. WRONG.
Think about what Paul said: " Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor. 1:8-9)”
That sounds pretty intense, doesn't it?
Friends, He WILL give you more than you can handle.
Because.... *drumroll* YOU aren't supposed to handle it.
I, You, We....we are supposed to lean on God for our support through these trials. We are not to rely on ourselves!
I for one have a very bad habit, sin, whatever you want to call it... of relying on myself. Being self sufficient. Bottom line is I can't do it.
The past few days, well..months.. I've had to rely pretty heavily on friends, family, and God to help me through various situations. It's been rather bruising to the pride. But I think that was the point. ;) God has helped me through, and has even allowed me the grace to praise Him.
This all may be old news for you, but it's been something I've had to learn the hard way the past while.
Rely on God. For He is a loving and gracious Abba.