How is it that in the middle of Ravensbrück (concentration camp), this quote could rise from the lips of a dying woman? What is it that gives someone a resolve so strong that in the midst of unimaginable adversity, this message of strength, hope, and faith would pierce through their darkest of hours?
How is it that this resolve is not only possible, but exists in the lives of people everyday, yet many miss out on it and are left with a feeling of hopelessness over situations that are so much less dire than life in a concentration camp?
Allow me to share a passage with you that points to where I find my strength.
Ephesians 3:14-20 (NLT)
“14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
Just know that having this foundation for strength & resolve goes much beyond an intellectual understanding and has to be coupled with real experience to produce lasting results. Much like a fall arrest system (a.k.a. safety harness), you can read the manual and learn that if you tighten this strap and properly hook in to the right place, it will protect you against a fall, but you don’t really KNOW that it will protect you until you’ve experienced a fall while wearing one of these pieces of equipment. Then you know the power of the harness in a completely new way.
You learn that you really CAN rely on this equipment to do what it says it will do. This type of knowledge allows you to focus more on the task at hand- knowing that this system will do what it is supposed to do- and allows you more fully engage those around you as you seek to help them understand what safety is available to them as well. And this, I suppose, is where I’m at in my journey.
I KNOW my source of strength and I’d like others to know how to have it as well. I hate seeing people hurt, confused, lost, hopeless, bitter, and spun up because they don’t have anything secure to rely on when the world they thought they could rely on comes crashing down around them.
So, if you’re curious on how to gain this secure footing, please ask! Reading the above passage is a great start, but without knowing how to couple it with experience, it is remain something that sounds good now- but when the time come that you need it, you don’t know how to rely on it and it will just add more confusion later.
My prayer for you this week is taken from the passage above:
“16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”