"The Lord is going to show us something today, I just know it." That was my husband's boast as he drove us to a new hiking location he'd discovered on-line.
I love our family time together. I can't thank God enough for new perspective after the current and past trials with my children's health that we've faced. Hiking for our family has become more than excercise- it is a miraculous event.
Although the hike wasn't arduous and we were sheltered by a canopy of trees, Ethan struggled more than usual. We had to stop a few times on the way up and cut the hike shorter than we'd hope to help Ethan on the way back. My husband chose to stay back as the caboose with Ethan. We rely on my husband in so many new ways and God has awakened his heart to embrace his new roles with satisfaction. I love Jesus even more when I see the work He can do in mankind.
My husband has at times, picked up Ethan and carried him on his back to finish a hike, or punch through the thick snow at the end of a fun day when Ethan's legs can't carry him any longer. As it is, Ethan being diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, has challenged us to lean on God for strength that supersedes the physical that we know.
I can't thank the Lord enough who allows us to live in this miraculous state while we watch for His grace to meet us once more.
As I took the lead with my other son, I can hear my husband checking in on Ethan, "You okay Bud?" and then, "Do you want to take another break?" He coached Ethan every step of the way to keep his footing safe and to lead him on the portions that had the least resistance. He guided him over every rock and took his hand over large stumps. At one point I heard him say, "Just lean back into me for this part. I have you..." When Ethan looked like he was spent, my husband kept encouraging him, "We're almost there...".
Ethan couldn't have benefited from his father's advice if he didn't have an ear to hear him. If Ethan was stubborn and certain that he'd know what was best, he could've ignored my husband altogether and did things his own way. Ethan's weakness allowed him to have a need. The same goes for 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9
What an honor to know our weaknesses! What a greater honor to know the living God who harnesses all strength and power! And what a privilege to know that we have the opportunity for this gracious God to be our loving Father. Our weaknesses reveal God's strengths. Until I was forced in my physical pain to walk 2 miles twice to get Ethan from school because we have no car, I truly didn't experience that God had the ability to literally "make me strong". I became strengthened to walk those several days with infection raging through my body that shouldn't have been humanly possible. The doctor couldn't figure out how I could be so "healthy" not only without antibiotics (which I had adverse side effects and discontinued) but the fact that he said I should've been hospitalized to begin with. Now, from experience (which continue in different aspects), I know that God is CAPABLE of making a physically weak person stronger when those moments arise. I wouldn't have known and been able to rejoice like the apostle Paul in my weaknesses. We'll never know that facet of God unless we lean on Him in those moments and find out. I am so thankful that I've had so many of my weaknesses exposed- those things that reveal our human limitations; our failing flesh. I'm so thankful that Jesus never fails to extend an invitation to us to come closer so that we can see His goodness even more.
It's in those moments that we choose: resist or rest? We resist by doing things our way, in our own understanding, and relying on our own strengths. We rest by not resisting God, making ourselves quiet enough to hear the counsel of the Lord that we're willing surrendered to by faith.
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you." Psalm 32:8-9
Do you hear this faithful Father? "I will instruct you, teach you, and counsel you with my loving eye on you". I can't fathom any other place I'd like to be than in the presence of the Lord's counsel when I don't know what to do or where to go. I can't think of anyone I trust more the One that is instructing me with their loving eye on me. Surely, such a "Man" will want what's best for me. We can only gain when we look to Jesus in the places that we lack. He won't fail- His name is Faithful and True. The counsel of our living Savior Jesus, is safe. He'll tell you like my husband told Ethan, "Lean on me for this part- I have you" when it gets really rough. He'll lead you past obstacles and help you over stumbling blocks. His word promises a way out of temptation when troubles come and sin knocks on the door of your heart but we must listen- we must have ears to hear.
Brothers and Sisters, I encourage you this day to press in to the Lord when you are pressed by the world. Jesus won't fail you. He's waiting to speak with you. He has so much to say. Open His word today and find the counsel that your heart needs to be fortified as you carry on, being carried by Jesus.