Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Great Charade--Ms.Confidence

I am extremely late in posting my response to Tuesday's Bible study! Sorry! We are discussing Behind Those Eyes by Lisa Whittle through Lelia's blog. I hurriedly read through the first few pages of this chapter. (I've been in a hurry all week it seems!) Then I read this poem that really hit home. It's by an unknown author and is just wonderful!

"A Strong Woman vs. a Woman of Strength"
A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape...
But a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape.
A strong woman isn't afraid of anything...
But a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.
A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her...
But a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone.
A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future...
But a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God's blessings and capitalizes on them.
A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face...
But a woman of strength wears grace.
A strong woman walks sure-footedly...
But a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls.
A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey...
But a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.
Y'all, I believe the author wrote that just for me! I want that strength that makes me confident in Christ all of the time. The scripture reference that Lisa used of Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:6-10 drove the message home.
6If I had a mind to brag a little, I could probably do it without looking ridiculous, and I'd still be speaking plain truth all the way. But I'll spare you. I don't want anyone imagining me as anything other than the fool you'd encounter if you saw me on the street or heard me talk.
7-10Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
Yesterday, my son ran in a cross country race. He just started running a few months ago, and he has improved his time in the 5K race (3.1 miles) quite a bit. It's really fun to watch him and his teammates. He has confidence in himself and his running abilities. We remind him that these abilities are gifts from God. God needs to get the glory for his achievements. Well, sometimes he remembers, sometimes he doesn't! Sharing this with close family and friends is fine, but we've also told him that if he is going to boast, it should be in the Lord.
While he was running yesterday, the message behind this scripture came into play. He was running a strong race at mile two when we spotted him. He was positioned right behind the runner on his team who is just a little faster. Everything looked good for a strong finish. I was confident that he would do well!
Fast forward to the last tenth of mile...the fastest runner from our team crossed the finish line. My son should have been next. But..another runner on his team finished, then another, and another! I was eagerly looking for my child to come over the last hill...not stressing, but I was wondering what was going on. Then, as he crested the hill, I saw his hand pressing into his side. He was struggling with a side stitch . We encouraged him to finished strong as he ran past my husband and me. After he exited the finish line shoot, we went over to see what happened. He said that his side started hurting, and he struggled with breathing and nausea (the joys of running fast!) His time was off just by a minute or so, and he still ran a great race on a very tough and hilly course. There were no excuses, he simply had a bad race. You can have all of the confidence in the world, but there are "thorns in the flesh" we have to deal with daily. If we put our hope and our strength in God, He will walk us through these obstacles day by day. In our weakness, we will become stronger and more confident in Him--not ourselves. I believe that this lesson came alive for my family yesterday.
Many Blessings,


Edie said...

What a great analogy this is! I truely enjoyed reading this today, and benefited as well. Have a great day!

Chatty Kelly said...

LOVED the poem. While I"m not a runner, I am a "strong woman." Bull headed is more like it! I really loved that. Thanks for sharing it.

Joy said...

I loved this poem so much that I copied it off. Thanks so much for sharing it!

The Patterson 5 said...

I loved the poem and how you are sharing with your boys "if he is going to boast it should be in the Lord" I'm taking some notes from a mentor as my boys sporting careers are only beginning! Thanks for that.

I also liked your verses from Paul and the thorn in his side reminding us our weaknesses only show God's incredible strength.

AnooCre8ion said...

Hi Susan,thanks for stopping by.

I loved your post. What a great lesson to learn:

You can have all of the confidence in the world, but there are "thorns in the flesh" we have to deal with daily.

It's wonderful that God used exactly what you love and are familiar with to bring home a valuable point. That's when we really get it.


AnooCre8ion said...

Hi Susan, it's me Vickie again, just letting you know that I have been reading some of your previous posts and so enjoyed them I am adding you to my bloggy list.


Leebird said...

When our eyes are open, every single day has messages from God to teach us and help us understand.

Sorry your boy had a rough race, but so glad you saw the eternal significance of it.

Love, Lee

Van said...

Just visiting around and found you. I liked the poem. I want that strength also!

On Purpose said...

Great poem...keeping my focus on what God says I am and need to be and not what the world says!

Empty Nest Full Life said...

I am working on the Beth Moore Breaking Free bible study and that seems to go right along with what I have been learning. Think I will share with the group of what you have posted. Jackie

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Great post, sweet Susan.

I love what you said about having all the confidence but still having thorns in the flesh that we deal with daily.

Your son had a thorn in his side, too, huh?

Good 'un.
Love ya,

Carol said...

Susan, great post, and the reminder of the thorn in the side.

I loved that poem.

I've been enjoying your blog. Had to laugh about being lost in the bloggy world, I've been the same way, I've been enjoying reading all the entries from everyone. It's been so awesome to meet so many women who love the Lord.


The Patterson 5 said...

Hey if you do make that pie with peanut butter chips let me know if it is good! We all are nutty over here ---I mean we love peanut butter!

Leebird said...

Girl, you kill me! Your voicemail made a very nerve-wracking day suddenly turn fun. I called Pastor Gary and told him about your Bible study with your girls. He was very pleased that God would let his sermon travel all the way to SC. That man is going to get the big head if you guys don't stop swooning over him! ;) I have a guest list a mile long since starting the sermon notes blog post! :) Love you...bunches and bunches, Lee

Jill said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog today!

I admire your endurance to run the race - literally and spiritually!

My husband ran marathons for four years and then one day the Lord said, time to stop and put your full focus on me. The next month he was enrolled in Bible College and our life has never been the same since. He just started to run again and an injury from the last marathon is still bothering him.

Watching him run and I understand the joy it brings to you. I love your post on the race where you were not happy. Our God is MIGHTY and AWESOME to use even the boring surroundings to show you His beauty everywhere we are!

So nice to meet you!
In His amazing grace!

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

What a truly powerful poem.

You have an amazing blog my friend....Ii too love to run......

Have a blessed weekend.