I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]
(Philippians 4:13 AMP)
You know that season of exhaustion, confusion, doubt, and uncertainty? The season that takes your face in its hands and says, “You cannot do this.” The season that shakes you, leaves you trembling and searching for God even though you could’ve sworn He was just there a minute ago?
Yeah, I know it too.
I’m nearing the end of that dry, desert season as I type, in fact… or so I hope and pray.
Let me let you in on a little secret, though: It’s actually true, what that season tells you. You cannot do this. That’s not a lie. Sounds absurd, doesn’t it?
Wait! Don’t go! Let me clarify…
The truth is: You cannot do this. You cannot do this alone. You cannot do this without a Savior.
You see, I’ve been grasping at straws, always coming up short. As I mentioned in my most recent post here with Illustrated Faith, this summer has proven to be a difficult one for me. I shared with some of you on Instagram too what I’ve been learning during this month of August:
Life — even the most blessed one — can be tough sometimes.
This summer was great. … It was a summer full of fun, adventure, and laughter. But even so, my faith was tested, my creativity shut down, and inspiration was all but lost.
I thought surely coming home after such a busy trip would solve the problem, and it has helped, but… lack of routine and busyness has continued to stretch me thin, and I feel on some days like I’m going to burst at the seams. It’s been so hard to find alone time, and my relationship with Jesus has been a quiet, almost wordless one. I’ve felt like God was, or is, out of reach. …
I woke up this morning with a new realization (new AGAIN, that is): it’s not a matter of FINDING time for the things you love, the things that fuel your soul, the things that make you YOU. You have to MAKE TIME.
What you need most is not out of reach. What you need most is not something that can/should be set aside “until you have time.” What (Who) you need most is RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW. Make time, feed your soul, and remember this: the only time you have for ANYTHING is the time you’re willing to make for it.
Now, there really shouldn’t be anything to add to that. I had been greatly and positively affected when I wrote it, and I wrote it recently — it’s still a fresh experience. It was a day full of creative worship and time with God (prior to it I hadn’t even opened my bible for two weeks); I was productive in project and business planning; it was a peaceful day spent with two lovely, well-behaved children.
Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? [wink, wink at you moms-of-littles]
The next day started off just as well. It was the first day in two months that I had woken up feeling at peace. I even felt God’s grace and peace before I had my morning coffee! (That’s saying a lot, in my case.) I got some work and writing done, took the kids on an outing, relaxed a bit, and started to make myself at home in this newly rediscovered joy.
That evening, the enemy put a load on me which, if I had been watching, I could have seen coming from a mile away.
That is to say, I could have prepared myself more, spiritually, if my “newly rediscovered” joy hadn’t been so “newly rediscovered.” The enemy knew right when to strike, and so here I am, still on the edge of the desert, creeping my way back to that pool of Living Water which I know is within my reach.
What I’m learning and relearning though is this: even when I’m crawling through the midst of the desert, I have strength enough through Him. Even when I’m so tired that I can’t even stand; when the days seem longer than I can bear; when the only thing that seems to help is to cry, cry, cry; when the baby refuses to sleep; and when I miss every deadline — even then, somewhere within me I’m hiding Hope, and He’s just waiting for me to let Him out in the open.
Christ wants to be a part of your desert season. He wants to hold your hand through it, or even to carry you. He wants to be your Only Hope. He is right there with you in your struggle. And He can give you the strength you need for all things, if you’ll let Him.
I’ll close with this, from the I Am Strong devotional:
We HAVE to remember that God’s grace will come when we need it! He WILL infuse inner strength into you when you need it! Don’t worry about it now. What a great reminder! Don’t go through life worrying about tomorrow. We live in absolute agony today, because of what might or might not happen tomorrow. And in the process, we forget to be present. To be happy. To have peace and joy and a carefree life today!
Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd I Am Strong devotional kit | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Homespun Alphabet stickers (Black Eyed Pea) | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Homespun Alphabet stamps | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd ink pad (Black Eyed Pea) | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd clear acrylic block | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Be Bold bible mat | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd precision pen | Pelikan watercolors (magenta, violet) | Vernissage flat paint brush (16)