Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Muscle Man

My boys love to wrestle. They bare their chests, take their corners and go at on the living room rug, wrestling until some takes the pin and counts to three. The other night they were wrestling when I called them to the table for dinner. They arrived, red-faced, huffing and puffing, and shirt-less. The rule at our table is you must where a shirt. (We have other rules about clothing, too, but that is for another post). So I told the boys that after we prayed they needed to go and find their shirts.

Now Justice is getting old enough that he no longer has that little boy look, but Jot still has the pot belly and scrawny limbs of a little guy. Sitting across from me, minus his shirt, he looked pretty small. “Hey Jot, let me see your muscles,” I said.

He held his breath, puffed up his chest, and made a fist, bending his arm, forming an “L”. A little bump of muscle stood up between his elbow and shoulder. “Wow! That is quite a muscle!” I said and he grinned, pleased with his effort.

I imagine that is how God sees us. In our own minds, we feel strong. We puff out our chests, make a fist, and take on the world. Just like we smile at our kids because we know how weak they really are, I imagine God shakes His head at our own foolish displays of valor and strength. He knows how weak we really are. He knows our fears and our faults. And just like we do our own children, He loves us anyway.

In the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua, we are told to “be strong and courageous” because the Lord goes with us. And in the book of Ephesians, Paul tells us to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power”. And remember the ultimate strong guy, Samsom? No one could match his power--until the Spirit of God left him. Then he became as weak as any man.

We need to remember that no matter how strong we think we are, if our strength doesn’t come from God and if He is not with us, we are as weak as a little child showing off his muscles.

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