Have you ever had moments in your life where you felt as if you could shatter into a million pieces? The older I get the more I realize that life can bring deep disappointments and unfair circumstances. Recently I began to ponder how these kinds of life’s experiences could leave a person feeling fragile. Perhaps your confidence has been shaken, your faith is wavering, or you feel like one more obstacle or challenge will break you completely.
When I think of an item that is fragile, the first thing that comes to my mind is dishes that we put on display but seldom use. Maybe it is an heirloom you want to protect for sentimental reasons. This thought process made me consider if it is possible for us to allow ourselves to become like that heirloom, just for display and no longer for use.
I strongly believe that Christians should never retire from their work for the Kingdom on this side of heaven. We should allow God to use us through the gifts and talents He has bestowed upon us to be His hands and feet extended, or His voice to those who need ministry, love, and encouragement.
If the path we have been walking on has left us in a state too fragile to be fully used by God, what is the solution? We certainly do not want to retire or leave parts of our assignments unfulfilled!
2 Corinthians 4:7-10 NLT
7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
At the time Apostle Paul wrote this, he could have been killed for preaching the gospel, yet he encourages Christians then and now to realize that it isn’t about the fragility of our own state, but the great treasure we contain. The power to be strong does not come from us, but from the God who lives within us. If God’s power and love is limitless, we simply must access it to overcome my fragile state.
God told Joshua, “…Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated) for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 AMP)
David told Solomon as he trusted him to complete his work of building the temple, “Be strong and courageous do not be afraid and lose heart.” (1 Chronicles 22:13b NLT)
We read in Psalm 27:14, “Wait for and confidently expect the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.” (AMP)
Hezekiah encouraged the people after rebuilding the broken section of the walls, “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the King of Assyria or his mighty army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” (2 Chronicles 32:7-8 NLT)
Paul finishes his letter in the book of Romans by saying, “Now all glory to God, who is able to make you strong…” (Romans 16:25a) He again tells us before describing our Christian armor, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” (Ephesians 6:10)
I believe the instructions we find in all of these passages is to overcome our fragile state through being strong in the Lord. Like most spiritual concepts, easier said than done, right? I believe the key is proximity!
If I want to grow stronger, I have to get closer to the strength giver! His strength is perfect when our strength is gone. (see 2 Corinthians 12:9)
We have to become like a tree firmly planted and rooted and fed by streams of living water. (see Psalm 1:1-3)
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7 NLT
A fragile person is easily broken or damaged. They are delicate, vulnerable, and easily destroyed, just like a tree with no root system. The solution to overcoming fragility is planting ourselves in close proximity to the stream of living water. There is nothing I can do in my own strength to change this state, except to be determined to plant myself so near to my creator that my root system has constant access to His supply. This connection will provide nourishment for me to grow strong. Before long, I will become strong in the power of God’s might and with God on my side, who can be against me!