I Will Strengthen Thee

Yesterday I was driving home from a friend’s house when all of a sudden my eyes caught sight of a large rut in the road. I cringed and braced for the expected impact, hoping the car wouldn’t explode and me with it… ok, little explanation: when you don’t know hardly a thing about cars, the imagination is left to the mercy of the moment-- apt to be exaggerated just a tad. :) Well, somehow I missed the rut, and immediately the words, “Fear not!” convicted me. I remembered the rest of Isaiah 41:10, “…for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” It was surely the Lord bringing that verse to mind, because it was just what I needed to remember. I don’t know how many times I’ve quoted Isaiah 41:10, and yet never before did the words, “I will strengthen me,” ring in my mind so powerfully.

Recently I’ve battled with the fear that I will not be all that God has desired me to be. It’s easy to focus on our weaknesses or our failures and conclude that we are therefore useless to God; and yet, praise the Lord, He does not wait until we are perfect to use us. In fact, His strength is made perfect in our weakness! One evening as I was talking with Dad, so desiring to be a good steward of all the Lord has blessed me with, he reminded me, “Emily, don’t forget, God desires to use you more than you desire to be used! He will not waste you.”

No matter how hard we try, we can never measure up to the perfect standard God holds, which is why we are so dependent on the grace of God to use us in spite of ourselves! “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid.” (Romans 6:1-2a) “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:1) I praise the Lord for his promise, “I will strengthen thee,” and am continuing to discover just how deep and measureless the grace of God is extended for sinners like me!