Ephesians 3:14-21 (New International Version)
For this reason I kneel before the Father,from whom his whole family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name.I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
My husband Brad was a competitive guy. He loved to play all kinds of sports and games and in each one always put his “best efforts” into winning. Two sports that Brad introduced me to and we loved playing together were tennis and racquetball. Now, I can be pretty competitive too and I really like to win! So even though I might not have had the physical ability to play these sports at the same level of skill Brad had, he made them fun to play together by allowing me to “compete” by either playing left-handed (racquetball) or playing (tennis) a little less “intensely” and at a level that allowed me to excel.
Of course, since I’m a competitive person, whenever I would win points and even a game or two, I acted like it was my great skill that accomplished these great feats of victory! I did not give Brad any credit for how he adjusted his game to allow for my victories…(even though he was also nice enough to help me by teaching me better skills to improve my game). We would laugh together over my “beating him”… but I might have laughed a bit harder than I should on occasion! Sometimes when I would get a bit too full of myself over winning a point Brad liked to remind me of his “true” level of play by hitting the ball with the skill and speed he used when playing the sport competitively with his friends. Yikes! He was good!
We always had a great time and Brad usually seemed pretty content to allow me to enjoy those times when I thought I was an equal match to his talents and abilities. He was even sincerely thrilled when my level of play would improve and exceeded both of our expectations! He was a great encourager to “keep playing”! Brad knew he could have “swept the victories from me” … but he choose instead to invite me to join him in his love for these sports so that we could spend time together and share his passion for the games. His passions became mine.
You know… looking back now,it occurs to me that Brad and I may have thought we were playing “against” each other, but because of how Brad actually “played the game” we were actually playing on the same team all along. Brad didn’t play with all his might so as to “crush” me when we played together, he played the game in a way so that I would be encouraged and could learn new skills to play better. It would have been easy for him to play with all his might and ability and cause me to quit and feel that I could never measure up to playing the game and win.
God wants us to know that He is on our side too. So when adversity shows up to “play against us”…God is right there with us and even places His Right Hand over us so that we can drawn on His power and strength to strike back the blows of hard hits adversity plays at us. We are teamed with Jesus! Yeah! He is more than able to “crush” our opponent! We have a faithful God who stays with us throughout… encouraging and instructing us along the way in our battle with adversity. When we fully rely on Jesus, He is able to reveal to us through every return hit and swing at adversity… the powerful testimony of what only God can accomplish in us. Do not fear when adversity calls you into it’s game. Adversity may see a “wimp” but our weaknesses can prove to be a hidden treasure of God’s strength. In God’s strength we are given the taste of victory!
So…don’t be like I was with Brad when he gave me “a win” and I said it was mine…
It is to Jesus’ Name that all glory and honor is due! If others see us as strong while facing adversity… praise God!
You know...isn't it just like our Father to want us to look like Him!
The Daughter of the King.