For all of you stepping out into newness

Ever faced a step out of your comfort zone? One of those moments (or months) when your stomach is in knots and your mind is racing and you can’t sleep because you’re thinking about what lies ahead?

It might be a major life event: a new baby, a new job, a new country. Or it might be stepping out your front door to meet the new neighbor. Picking up the phone to call that person you’d rather not love.  Signing up for the course.

Perhaps you dreamed of this, planned for it. Or perhaps it arrived unannounced and unwanted.

Either way, it’s challenging.

And confusing.

You dreamed of the clouds and find yourself in the red hot pressures of the real life situation.

You do trust God. You’ve seen him at work. You know he can raise the dead. So why is it so hard to trust as you step into the new situation?

I saw it this week, the crazy upside-down lie I’ve not known I’ve believed though it has shaped my thoughts and my actions. I have believed that my weakness is stronger than God’s strength.

Isn’t that really what I’m saying when I admire someone else’s courage and think “but I could never do that?” When I let the dreams peek through just for a moment but then write them off as impractical, forgetting that the God who is able to do the impossible just might be planting those dreams in me?

The words stop me in my tracks, the lie flipped right-side-up, framing beautiful truth: “. . . God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25) My weakness can’t be stronger than God’s strength because even God’s weakness is stronger than human strength (1 Cor 1:25). God at his weakest, the God-man suspended on a rough stake, bloodied and breathing his last, succeeded where all our efforts failed. And this God-man whose death gave us life now lives his life in us who are his. The cross was just the beginning.

So take courage, you who have died with Christ, and step out in his strength. In this life on the other side of the cross,  weakness is not a barrier but a wide open welcome into a greater strength.

Painting by Patricia Jagt

“My grace is enough; it’s all you need.

My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”

(2 Corinthians 12:9 The Message)

(Need a little help remembering that? Click here to download the following reminder that you can print or set as your screensaver.)

Passion painting by Patricia Jagt