Thursday, October 14, 2010

Grim strength to Glory-Strength.... Overflowing Joy Harvest

The following verse meant so much to me that I found myself wishing to share with you….
And so I shall.

Colossians 1:9 From The Message because it’s just that good....

Be assured that from the first day we heard of you,
we haven't stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you'll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.

“Not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives.”
Glory-strength…. Isn’t that a marvelous word?! Oh, I get such a word picture from this verse…. I picture myself grim and grimacing…. Gritting and grinding my teeth trying to make the situations in my life move by my own might…. And I find—I don’t have the strength to stick it out over the long haul.
I give up.
I give in.
I completely collapse…. Because I’m just not capable of making it on my own.
As you learn more and more how God works, you will earn how to do your work.
Isn’t that lovely? I’ll figure out how to do my job…. Live my life to the fullest if I just dig into the Word and learn each day another nugget of truth of how God works….
Working hard in His orchard….. Ah, the word picture here….
I see trees full of ripe fruit ready for the picking…. my work and the task looks overwhelming and I begin to become grim…. Gritting my teeth….
The Orchard is my life’s work…. Which right now…. This moment…. This point in my life….
Is my home and family.
My Orchard.
There are other trees in my orchard that I take care of…. Trees of ministry, church, friends and extended family…. But in my word picture I see the biggest, flourishing trees that need the most loving care to be my home and family.
And some days, I admit, I find myself adapting an attitude of grim determination that doesn’t include joy….
I don’t like those days.
I want to lose the grim-strength for the glory-strength of God. To depend on Him, lean on His strength to not just make it through the day….
But for the long haul.
To see my orchard flourish for generations….
To see my children grow into great, godly young people.
To provide a home of welcome and comfort to them and Mr. Steady.
I want this strength that endures the unendurable and not only that but more….
It spills over into joy.
Grim-strength is never going to do that…. No joy in that.
Not to just endure the unendurable but to have joy, so much joy that it simply spills over.
Oh, Wow.
My heart overflows with the thought.
Joy…. Overflowing….. like a triple-bumper crop harvest…. Too much to fill the bushel baskets….
An overflowing joy harvest.
And I know….
I am not meant to do all this on my own. Not meant to tackle my life’s orchard with grim-strength but to see the possibilities in each day and each harvest and know that I can go about each day with a glory-strength that will lead to an overflowing joy harvest.
Oh, Lord make me strong. Give me glory-strength that endures the unendurable for the long haul. Teach me Your Work so that I may learn how to do mine. Lord, may I simply spill over with joy in this my every day, walking-around, ordinary life. Thank you Father. Make me strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful you have for me.
Everything bright and beautiful, Lord.
Everything.

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