Riches and glory come from you, you’re ruler over all; You hold strength and power in the palm of your hand to build up and strengthen all. (I Chronicles 29:11)
This is only part of the verse, but it is that last sentence that captured my attention this morning. I took a short walk by myself as the morning began to heat up around here and spent some time just meditating on what God was going to have me 'do' once I move into my retirement. I asked questions, pondered the family, thought about my best friend, heard him remind me of some things I had desired to do 'when I had time', and then I just plain listened. You might just be overwhelmed with the sense of his presence and the strength that comes as he builds you up in it. God really does hold all strength and power in the palm of his hands - to build up and strengthen us all.
As I pondered my next steps, I spent some time thanking God for what he has done for me in the realm of my finances - making it possible for me to take the next steps. Then I began to share my desire to engage in my community - to give back in some way. He brought an assurance in my heart that what I was exploring was right on with what he wants. There is nothing more exciting than to know you are in the will of God, my friends. I have a tendency to do a whole lot of "I" praying - I need this, I want to know this, I want 'x' friend to be blessed, etc. We might all do this from time to time, but when we finally get past the "I" prayers and into the "YOU" meditations of those quiet times, God can speak to us in ways that build us up and bring tremendous strength into our lives.
I want to ask you today to do something for yourself - not me. Will you stop what you are doing long enough to really move from just 'praying' and begin to meditate upon the words he gives you? Through his Word; in times of hearing a good message; or just because he is prompting your heart to consider some particular train of thought - meditate upon those words. Spend some time considering his greatness - how has he proven himself over and over to you just this week as the one who bring riches, glory, strength, and power - to build you up and strengthen you in ways that went beyond your natural energies? You might just discover you have been taking for granted some of the ways his presence has made you stronger!
God's strength begins where ours ends - but how many times do we exhaust all of our own before we ever take time to be energized with his? It is more than just asking for his strength at the point of our exhaustion - it is taking time to get quiet before him even before our energy is spent. God's 'edification' (building up of another) is nothing to be taken lightly - for it comes in areas of our lives where we probably didn't even realize we needed a little 'uplifting'. I have a friend that had been experiencing some severe foot pain. Do you know what the podiatrist recommended? A 'lift' in the heel of her shoe that 'tilted' her foot inward. It brought immediate relief to some of the most severe pain!
Amazingly enough, God knows exactly where we need to be 'built up' and how to strengthen us exactly when we will need that strength to take us to new discoveries and accomplishments. We fight battles that have already been won - expending energies to the point of exhaustion. God comes along and reminds us that battle was already won - on the cross - and we just need to let him remind us over and over again until that battle no longer wears us down and we are 'built up' in his strength. There is no magic amount of time or specific way to meditate upon the goodness and greatness of our God, my friends. Just find time to get past all the "I" prayers and begin to allow his Word to roll over and over in your minds until he begins to meet your right there. In the most amazing ways he will begin to build up weak areas, infuse power and strength where we have felt powerless, and help us to be 'ready vessels' in his service. Just sayin!