Oh Paul, Paul. What a statement.
I opened my Bible after putting two tired monkeys down to nap and the first thing that leaps from the page I was looking for is this:
"I must go on boasting."
I've been thinking about strength in weakness. The power of Christ resting on me. I've been in a rut and realized this morning that I can't dig my way out. I feel so inadequate to everything in my life, and that I have so much to learn. I've started to realize that it doesn't matter "how much I have to learn," as much as the state of my relationship with Christ. Am I resting in his strength? Am I quietly enjoying him? Am I hiding behind his shield of truth when the evil one sprays his darts at me?
He is my Victor after all. My Refuge. My Confidant and Friend.
Why then, if I'm seeking to believe these things, do I struggle and fear and wallow in self-pity?
"I must go on boasting."
Paul was just listing to the Corinthians all he had endured for Christ's and the church's sake. "Boasting" to them of the trials he'd endured. But he couldn't stop there. So he said, "I must go on boasting."
But this continuation was not more about himself. No...all he had left to say about himself was an admission of his weakness. He could have continued talking about himself - and have been justified doing so - as he points out. I think sometimes I could do the same, in a tiny little way.
"I mean, I do this every week, and love this person unconditionally, and take care of these people. I'm bone weary every night. Even my weekends are the opposite of relaxing. Etc. Etc. Etc." Elsewhere Paul would say, "I count everything as loss so that I may gain Christ." My flesh certainly gets a rush from my "sacrifices" being recognized, but anything I do is ultimately only an outpouring of my thankfulness to my Savior and the flesh needs to go back where it came from - the grave.
No. I have nothing to boast in.
I am weak. Tired. A little slap-happy some nights (you should have seen me laughing over antics with Siri last night). My kitchen is piled with dishes. I'm grumpy. All I want to do is sit on the couch and watch Covert Affairs and eat sweet potato chips and frozen yogurt. I ran the stroller into the curb this morning, bruising both my shins, and I may or may not have said something that the 2-yr-old in the stroller shouldn't have repeated.
But I can't just say, "Oh well, I'm weak. I guess Christ's strength will have to be here for me today."
Actually, although Christ will outpour his strength and grace on my life today, I must "go on boasting." I must claim the gift of strength from him.
Today I tell you that I am weak, but Christ is strong. I am unable to serve anyone or care for anyone without his power resting on me - driving me, carrying me. He is with me. Every moment. He is the abundant-life-giver. The Shepherd who leads me my refreshing water and restful places where my soul can be restored. Only he.
Today I will go on boasting in Jesus. I must.
~ All references are from 2 Corinthians 11-12 ~