by Jacqui Crumrine, Associate Pastor – Worship and Arts
The journey of growth and transformation can be one of sudden impact or one of subtle shifts. I have experienced both over the course of my life; the most memorable have been the ones with sudden impact. The ones that hit me like a wall. You know, the proverbial light bulb goes off and you are awakened to a new reality. In reflection, however, the most life changing shifts have been the subtle ones…the ones that have taken time to show their results…the ones that take work to dig down deep to the roots, take out the old decay, and start again with something new.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Over the last few years, I have focused my growth on becoming more like Christ. We are made in His image, which means that our lives should bear the markers of the very characteristics of God! It seemed an easy connection when I focused on the things that I already had, like creativity. I focused on developing that in light of the new connection that I had with my Creator. It’s been incredible!
But then there was this word…strength. Yes, God is strong. He is powerful. Mighty. He cannot be shaken. He is the Rock. I sing songs like that every week, and I worship Him for that characteristic, because deep down. I know I’m not strong. I need God to be my strength! But me?…I’m not strong.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
Or am I?
Wait, if I am made in God’s image, then yes…I am created to be strong. I am created to be confident. I am created to press into the areas of my life that will require resilience, fortitude, determination and tenacity. And lo and behold, at just the right moment, God presents me with a life challenge that will require all of that. It requires me to be strong, and it has to come from me. It has to be in me. At first I didn’t believe it was there. I had told myself my whole life that I wasn’t strong. And day by day…by day…I proved that I was. I proved that I could do more than I thought and yes…I proved, that I am strong.
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13
It didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen easily. It didn’t happen without help, encouragement, goals and perspective. But it did happen. In fact, it’s still happening. I am strong, and I am becoming stronger.
Whatever you are battling, whatever your circumstances…know that God created you to be strong. It’s in there…find your strength.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Ephesians 6:10