We are frail
We are fearfully and wonderfully made
Forged in the fires of human passion
Choking on the fumes of selfish rage
And with these our hells and our heavens
So few inches apart
We must be awfully small
And not as strong as we think we are.

These words are from the song, “Not As Strong As We Think We Are” by the late Rich Mullins. It’s a provocative song, in my opinion. I’ve witnessed some incredibly strong people in my life. Where does that strength come from? The obvious answer to me is from God, but a lot of those strong people don’t even know God, they lack a relationship with Him. Of course, I would argue, even though they may not recognize it, that it’s still true the strength comes from the Lord. He made them, after all.

It is also true that those who are strongest most often have been overcoming challenges for most of their lives. It is the rare individual who comes from a pampered or protected background who finds the internal strength to stand up to the foe, whether it’s another person or a situation. For most of those awe inspiring strong ones, it’s come from a place prepared through many a trial and even their own bad decisions. Although sometimes it’s bad things inflicted upon them.

And yet, for all that, Rich Mullins said, and I agree, that we aren’t as strong as we like to think we are. That’s humility. That’s measuring ourselves against the Divine Persons and realizing how pitiably small we actually are. And the proper response is to surrender to God, I think. Open yourself totally to Him, drown in His grace, trust Him with every breath you take.

I am reminded of God’s questioning of Job in the Old Testament book of the same name, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” And many other questions to which Job knows the answers all revolve around the truth that God is God and he is not. The Creator of the Universe is, was, and always will be here. But not one of us can say the same. My personal favorite for its sheer poetry is God’s question, “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loosen the belt of Orion?”

All of God’s questions bring home the point that Job, or any of us, could not be at all. And each day we wake up on an earth that could not be. And breathe air that could not be. Our days are brightened by a sun that could not have been. And our nights are illumined for most of the month by a moon that could not have been. It’s all gift and all things we as mere mortals cannot create or invent. And another glaring truth is that one day our earthly lives will end. God’s eternal, that’s no beginning and no end…

But we are here and loved by our God. There is another Scripture quote, from the Book of Psalms, that I am reminded of due to all this contemplation. Yes, we are not as strong as we think we are, but we have help in navigating this journey of life. And where does our help come from? Our help comes from the Lord. Be humble before the Lord and know that we are alive because He never stops thinking about us and loving us. Each and every one of us. And cling to the hope that forever will be with Him who didn’t need us but wants us.

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