Saturday, January 29, 2011

Perfect Strength

One of our Zambia team members took incredible pictures! I cannot take credit for this photo; but seeing this photo that my friend took reminded me of another experience that seems to be paralleling my spiritual journey at this very moment. The Zambian women are very strong because life is not easy. They have learned that when they place things on their head they are able to carry the load much better. We stayed overnight in the remote village of Mayobo. While we were there, we helped work on a chicken coop the village was building so they could raise chickens for eggs. We foolishly thought we could help them carry water so the men could mix the cement. One of the younger village ladies was sent to show us how, which she did reluctantly. Once we filled our containers about half full, she looked at us with a bit of disgust and said, "Now how are you going to manage?" Two of us decided to share the load and take turns carrying the water; however, even at that it was difficult! We were hungry, tired, and very hot and we soon realized that our strength did not even come close to comparing with the strength of these beautiful Zambian women. I felt foolish and weak. After we were about three quarters of the way back, our Zambian companion couldn't watch us struggle one more minute and took the water from us and placed it on her head.
I know she was strong enough to manage the heavy load (which was only half of what she usually carries) because she had been doing it all her life; however, I couldn't help but be ashamed that even with a friend, I struggled to make it all the way back. Shame. There really was no reason to be ashamed; the only reason I was ashamed was because I so desperately wanted to show them that I could do it! That wasn't a very good motive. I shouldn't have been serving to show my strength; I should have been serving out of love. Serving out of love wouldn't worry about appearances and would rely on others' strengths to get the job done.

I am currently finding myself in a situation where I feel completely inadequate and not able to do what needs to be done. God has reminded me of this moment as I have been struggling with the fear of failure. God has been reminding me that it is okay to let Him pick up the heavy load and carry it for me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says that God's power is made perfect in our weakness. Praise God! I need to remember that when God has asked me to complete something that He will provide the tools I need to get it done. I am so weak; however, God is stronger than I can even comprehend.

Are you relying on your strength or God's?

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