Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:9)
It’s strange how, sometimes, the little things require as much strength as the big ones. Perhaps that’s because we assume they won’t – after all, they’re just little things, aren’t they? Yet it’s the little things that enable us to practice ‘being strong’, so that when we encounter the ‘big things’ turning to God is instinctive and ‘first resort’ rather than ‘last resort’.
Strength is a funny thing. It’s often the thing we imagine we have – until we really need it, and suddenly find it’s conspicuous by its absence. It’s so much better to exercise it in the little things, to create the habit of depending on God in even the tiniest detail, so that we have the ‘lifeline’ already in place when crisis or hardship comes. That is the way to finding strength when we need it most.
One thing I learned about ‘strength’ after my beloved husband passed away was that we, firstly, don’t have it and, secondly, that we will never have sufficient strength to deal with an entire trial. It’s given to us by the grace of God, and only in the amount required for a specific moment. Even the worst possible situation can only be dealt with moment by moment. It’s not a ‘once and for all’ thing. It’s getting through it moment by moment, finding strength to manage this one single thing right here and right now.
That’s what Jesus meant when he talked about ‘today having sufficient trouble unto itself.’ He was trying to get us to see that we need to deal with everything in little steps, and we learn to do this by trusting Him in each and every single tiny detail. the problem, though, is that we often decide that some details are too small for God to participate in – resisting that one last chocolate, making that call that we really don’t want to make, biting our tongues to avoid lashing back when someone has hurt us… The list goes on, but the premise remains the same.
God wants us to depend on Him, even in these things. He wants us to learn to draw strength for everything from Him alone. He has said He will be with us wherever we go, and that includes everything, from doing the laundry when we’d rather read a good book to eating the vegetables we don’t enjoy because they’re what we need. And if He’s there anyway, why exclude Him? He didn’t say He’d be there only if we let him. He said He would be there, full stop, end of story.
That is grace. The almighty, omnipotent God of the universe is beside me in the big things and the small, lending me the strength to get through each moment. The strength to do what I must, even when I don’t want to, to make the right choices, even to not being self-reliant and complacent about the blessings I receive along the way. What a wonderful promise for those who, by grace, walk daily with Him.
Father God, thank you for the incredible blessing of being able to draw on You for the strength I need for every day, for every moment. Help me to turn to you in everything for strength and guidance, and to remain thankful that you want to be part of every detail of my life.