"I'm tired of being afraid. I'm wondering how I got this way. I'm trying to remember what life was like before. Panic moved in without even knocking on the door. Have mercy on me. I'm not who I used to be. Have mercy on me. Jesus, please..." Have Mercy on Me lyrics, -JJ Heller
I remember so clearly, as though it was only yesterday and not nearly three years in my past, those overwhelming feelings of panic that would run through my veins every minute of every day and night for what seemed to be months on end.
I can close my eyes and instantly recall the constant unrest that would swirl around within my mind, and the tears...the most sincere and heartfelt tears I think I may have ever cried in my whole life, that would fall day after day after day. Night after night after night.
I felt my soul being robbed, my laughter being choked, and my days became a battleground filled with fear and trembling. Yet I remained rooted in the word and constant in prayer as though my life depended on it.
Because truthfully, it did.
I remember the kind words and helpful quotes that people would offer so as to bring me hope and comfort when it seemed so far beyond my reach. The one I remember most often repeated was, "The Lord will never give you more than you can handle...so know that He must really believe that you are incredibly strong!"
Only, I didn't feel so strong. In fact, I was weak and defeated and there truly wasn't even an ounce of "strong woman, hear me roar" left within me. And on top of already experiencing a little bit of what I felt hell must be like, I also began to feel as though I was letting the Lord down because I couldn't live up to the strength he apparently felt I should possess.
And while I know we mean well when we say these things, what I've come to understand of Gods word, is that He does, in fact, give us FAR beyond what we can ever handle.
Anxiety. Death. Cancer. Abandonment. Depression. Illness. Pain. Poverty. Hunger.
The list goes on and on and on...
But there is good news my sweet friends, and it's the truth that got me through those very dark days, and it's the truth that gets me through the tough times even now. And that hope is not in that God thinks you're strong enough to handle all that life may bring to you.
2 Corinthians 1: 8-10
...For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
I don't know what troubles you may be struggling with right now, and I can't pretend to know how long God will allow you to be in the midst of them, but what I do know is that God's power and strength and comfort and love never fail. They never run out.
And so I urge you to look to Him. Run to Him. Abide in Him. Rest in Him. Make everything you have, everything you do, everything you walk through, about Him.
Because where we are weak, HE IS STRONG.