2 Corinthians 12:8-10 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I bought this little storage box at Michael’s in the middle of October because I literally couldn’t walk by it. It cracked me up, and yes, I do mean out loud, right there in the middle of the store. It made me feel good about my life- to know that someone else realized how much “stuff” they had and they not only admitted it, but they painted a pretty box to store it in! I knew it wasn’t just me!
Today’s inCouragement is about stuff. Good stuff. God stuff. Check it out:
I want to share hope. I want to share the longings of Christ’s abundance with confident expectation. I want to experience His hand at work in my heart.
~ Heather George, Especially Heather
My input: Yesterday’s post was about a quote by a lady I didn’t take the time to look up so I thought I’d try doing that today. Turns out that Heather George, like me, has had a lot of stuff in her life. I saw the scripture quoted on her About Me page and knew I was supposed to write this today. The scripture is God’s way of saying He gives us stuff so we know how much we need Him. And boy, oh boy, do I need Him.
Heather is the mother of a little girl named Emma Grace (which just happens to be the same name as one of my all-time favorite humans on the planet) who had been born in congestive heart failure, received a new heart at 5 months old, and then died at age 9. It tore my heart out to think about that kind of family trauma and even as I was reading it all, I thanked God for His great mercy in my life.
But Heather’s story (aka: stuff) didn’t end there. In 2007, she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. The bulk of the blog is about treatment and survival and life along the way. She’s no longer updating the blog, but I found her on Facebook- yes, I have been known to do a little stalking- and, to my joy, found out she is still alive and appears to be thriving. She is devoted to Christ and lives by His promises and tells the world she couldn’t have come through the stuff in her life without Him. That’s where I am now.
You know that song by Plumb called Need You Now? You know, the one where she sings to God, “How many times have You heard me cry out ‘God, please take this’? And how many times have You given me strength to just keep breathing?'” It’s another source of encouragement for me to know that I’m not alone, that we all have stuff that we beg God to take off of us.
For example, I love listening to a certain Passion Conference video where Francis Chan explains how Jesus must have felt when He was in the garden praying before they came to take Him away. Francis is so passionate in his teaching that it brings me to tears every time I hear it, how he imagined if it was his own daughter asking him about the cup that needed to be drank- “Daddy, is there ANY other way?!” Do you get that? Do you know that Jesus carried our stuff to the cross for us? He didn’t have any stuff of His own, for real, but He carried our stuff to His death so we didn’t have to.
1 Peter 5:7 says to cast all your “stuff” on God because He cares for you. Psalm 55:22 assures us that if we bring Him our stuff, He will not only help us through, but He will not allow us to be shaken. He wants our stuff and He literally wants all of it. The more I give to Him, the more room for Him I have in me!
So today I will give Him my stuff. I’ll keep the box on my desk, right next to the dancing monkey who reminds me we were made to live free and joyful lives, and I will put my stuff in it as it comes up. I’ll make it a symbol of literally giving my stuff to the One who wants to free me from it. You’re welcome to drop yours in it too.