One of my past favorite actors wrote an article about his philosophy on life. He described life as a big feast with many participants. He went on to say that to be a winner, you grab as much of the food off the table as you can and leave the scraps for everyone else.
After reading that article, I had this picture come to mind: a poor starving child unable to reach the table as I greedily stuffed my face. The child’s sufferings were his problem and not mine. As I write this post I am still disgusted with that actor’s article. Survival of the fittest, as you read the Bible, is quite contrary to Jesus’ philosophy on life.
Here is just one example in the Bible of weakness in one man’s life:
Weakness Turned to Strength (found in the book of Judges Chapters 6 ,7&8):
- #1: After God wanted to use Gideon for His purposes, Gideon responded by saying: “My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” (Jud. 6:15). God answered Manasseh fears by saying, “I will be with you” (Jud. 6:16).
- Main point: Power is found in God, not in one’s own abilities.
- #2: Gideon had an army of 22,000 men to fight against the Midianites who were “too numerous to count” (Jud. 6:5b). God’s response to Gideon’s army: “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength” (Jud. 7:2). God cut Gideon’s army from 22,000 men to only 300 men. God made it a point to show who was truly going to win the battle against the “too numerous to count” army!
- Main point: It’s far too easy for us to trust in our strength over God’s.
- #3: After Israel’s victory and about forty years of peace, Gideon died. The Bible says “soon after” Gideon died: “They (Israelites) forgot the Lord their God, who had rescued them from all their enemies surrounding them” (Jud.8:34).
- Main point: It’s far too easy to lose sight of the One who gives us our strength.
God is not some kind of sinister God that delights in our weaknesses or likes to see us suffer; He just knows the truth. That we need Him. And those who are broken are being honest with the reality that we are fragile beings who need someone to guide, heal and empower us. God will not force us to choose Him. Jesus wept when He came to earth and saw His people stubbornly refuse Him, because He knew their actions had consequences (Rom 3:23). His love for them would allow them to make their own decisions. “Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Cor. 13).
Recently, Judah was heading outside with some other kids and adults. I thought, “Great, I’ll get a break from watching him.” Within seconds Judah came back and said, “Dad I want you to come with me.” I tried to encourage him to go with his friends but that didn’t work. So I joined him outside. To my shame, I was annoyed by the inconvenience of having to go with him. The picture I have of God with His children is quite the contrast. How often He wants to sweep us in His arms as a mother hen would her chicks (Matt. 23:37) but oh, how often we run from Him! We are just too busy, or we just don’t want to bother him, or we will just be strong and let Him help those other poor, weak people.
I am so thankful God never gets annoyed with me when I turn back to Him, in fact, He runs toward me (like in the parable of the prodigal son, Luke 15) and is close to me in my weakness-“The Lord is NEAR to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34, Read it! It’s my favorite Psalm).
My main point of this post is: Those who are broken and weak see a need. Even if we are fulfilled temporarily from whatever, you and I will soon be hungry again, the table will be eventually wiped clear and there will be no food left. Jesus tells us to come to Him and we will never hunger or thirst again (John 6:35). There we will find our power, there we will find our strength ,there we will be fulfilled.
Blessings to all in the name of Jesus Christ!