Where do you find strength when you’re running on empty? How do you handle the pressures of life that create stress and frustration and leave you feeling weary and worn? I tend to be pretty independent, a self-starter, a go-getter and therefore often find myself trying to “do it all” and “be it all”. I like to be in control. I don’t always find it easy to ask for help. But when I try to operate in my own strength and do it all I end up frazzled, frustrated, overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s that Super Woman Syndrome!
For I am about to fall, and my pain is constantly with me. —Psalm 38:17
For troubles without number have surrounded me; my sins have overtaken me; I am unable to see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my courage leaves me. Lord, be pleased to deliver me; hurry to help me, Lord. —Psalm 40:12-13
But God does not call me to try to “do it all” , “be it all”, and operate in my own strength. When I do, I end up echoing the cry of the Israelites who wandered in the desert for 40 years, “But now our strength is dried up…” (Numbers 11:6)
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever. — Psalm 73:26
My heart and my flesh often fail. I take on too much. I try to solve everyone’s problems. I try to fix situations and relationships and maintain control and order in my life…And it’s exhausting! And it’s all because I am operating in my own strength instead of relying on God’s power and strength in my life.
Perhaps your strength is failing, not because you can’t learn to let go, but because life’s circumstances are like a tidal wave that just keeps washing over you. You just can’t seem to get your head above the water long enough to breathe!
Where we do find REAL strength, encouragement and comfort when we’re overloaded, overwhelmed, operating in our own limited strength?
#1 We Find Strength in God’s Word:
- For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4
- My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. —Psalm 119:28
- The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. — Isaiah 40:8
- I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. —Psalm 119:45 (NIV)
- For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. —Hebrews 4:12
His Word provides eternal encouragement. His word is powerful and energizing. His Word is living and active and renews and restores my weary heart and soul. In His Word, I find real strength!
#2 We Find Strength in Prayer:
- With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! —Psalm 142:1-3
- Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah. —Psalm 62:8
- Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. —Psalm 118:5
- Pray without ceasing. —1 Thessalonians 5:17
- Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. —Hebrews 4:16
Prayer is our refuge. We can pour out our hearts to God at any moment, in any place. He hears our cry. He knows our heart. He instructs us to prayer without ceasing. Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, living ever to make intercession for us. (Hebrews 6:19-20) We may draw near and find grace to help in our time of need. Prayer is our sanctuary.
#3 We Find Strength in His Presence:
- Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually. —Psalm 105:4
- Be still, and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10
- Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. —Matthew 11:28-30
- Blessed are those whose strength is in you. —Psalm 84:5
- For the Lord will not forsake his people. —Psalm 94:14
- He is our help. —Psalm 94:17
- His steadfast love upholds us. —Psalm 94:18
- He is our stronghold and rock of refuge. —Psalm 94:22
In God’s presence we find strength and joy. He has given us His Spirit as our helper, comforter and teacher. (John 14-16). In His presence we find peace and joy. We need to constantly seek Him because we all have that independent nature about us that wants to do it on our own! God has created us to live dependent upon Him because only in His presence will we find the strength, joy, peace and contentment we are seeking.
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
Are you running on empty? Are you at the end of your rope? Are you in need of a refuge and some refueling? Find REAL strength in His Word, in prayer and in His presence! He is always there…waiting for us to run to Him and cry out for help.
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com