This afternoon, I was reading Feminine Appeal by Caroline Mahaney*, and she quotes the following story by Pastor Robert D. Jones:
The story is told of a dad who asked his young son to lift a very heavy object, a weight far beyond the little boy’s capacity. The object would not budge. “Try again, son.” The boy tried again with no success. “Son, you’re not using all your strength.” The boy tried again, but still the object would not move. “Son, you’re still not using all your strength.”
“Oh, Daddy, Daddy, I’m trying,” grunted the boy as he strained at the immovable object. “I’m using all my strength.”
“No, you’re not, son,” replied the father. “You haven’t asked me to help!” **
Aren’t we like the boy in the story? We try to carry so many heavy burdens. Our legs feel like they would snap at the sheer weight of it all. Some burdens, we feel, are just too much to bear. We try to muster up the strength, only to crumble and fall flat on our faces. It would seem easier just to stay down. This is how I felt when I went through a period of depression a couple of years ago because I felt like I couldn’t carry the weight of taking care of a child with special needs. Only when I began to lay my burdens on Christ did I begin to look up and see that all things are possible with Him.
This story was just a wonderful reminder that God gives His children abundant riches, and one of those riches is His strength. He gives it freely, and yet, we don’t take it. It is His mercy to allow us to fail, to experience our utter weakness, so that we can discover the strength He is already offering us.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me … when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)
* From Caroline Mahaney, Feminine Appeal, Wheaton, Illinois, Crossway, 2004, p. 119-120.
** From Robert D. Jones, “Learning Contentment in All Your Circumstances,” The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 21, No. 1, Fall 2002, p. 58.
(Photo Credit: the_green_squirrel)