“-What do you do when you are not strong enough?”
“You act as if you are…”
This was a dialogue between a couple in a older TV show we were watching a couple of nights ago. The exchange stuck with me, and today it came back to my mind as I was coming back home from work. I remember when I watched that scene; I immediately discarded it in my mind thinking that this was one more of those secular, “rely on self” type of argument. I thought: “I don’t need to be strong enough…I don’t need to, because there is no way I could be. I just have to rest in the arms of the One who IS!” Today, however, I’m re-thinking my perspective.
I think that, whereas it is true I don’t have to be strong enough, simply because I am not, there are circumstances in which I may have to act as if I am. I know this sounds controversial, but the specific case I am thinking about is how I act in front of my children.
This year I have faced my biggest fears: cancer and job loss. I have been terrified by those two things ever since I was very young. Just thinking about either of them would send me into a rather paralyzing-self-induced state of panic and anxiety. The thing is, I’m not a young girl anymore. I cannot allow myself the luxury of letting my emotions and feelings run wildly until they leave me in a semi-catatonic mode. I have little ones to take care of, and they are watching me. They are watching my every move. By watching me, they are learning how to react to things, big and small, easy and hard, scary and happy. And my responsibility as their Mother is to show them the way to Christ, and how we are to rely on Him in every and any situation, no matter how hard, scary or big it may seem.
I know that there will be a point where I will break, and it may happen in front of them; which will also be OK since they need to learn that it is OK to have melt downs, for we are not made out of steel. But for the most part, I believe that I need to act strong in the midst of challenges. However, one thing I do have to do is to constantly tell my boys that the strength I may show does not come from me. Any demonstration of strength they may see comes from the Lord who makes all things possible, and who is made stronger when we are at our weakest.
So when my youngest son asks me, “are we going to be OK,” I most confidently reply, “yes, we will be OK, because God takes care of us, always. We rest in Him and we wait in Him.” Even if I am scared inside, there are times when I should definitively act strong for the sake of the faith walk of those around me.
This doesn’t mean I am going to pretend to be strong in the outside. It means that my outward attitude will reflect my faith. I will be honest about the fact that I am scared; but I will also express that I will not let my fear paralyze me, for I know that He will remain Faithful, and He will not abandon us.
He is Faithful and He is Love; therefore, He cannot disown Himself. He cannot go against His own nature, and I rest in that truth, and because of that truth, I act strong (and in Him, it isn't just an act).
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37: 7