6.01.2010

In "Other" Words...Ordinary Christians + Radical Dependence = Extraordinary Provision!


God delights in using ordinary Christians who come to the end of themselves and choose to trust in His extraordinary provision. He stands ready to allocate His power to all who are radically dependent on Him and radically devoted to making much of Him.”
~ David Platt 


Thank you for joining us for today's In "Other" Words.  I'm excited to be hosting this week, and looking forward to seeing what others have shared on today's quote!   Please link directly to your IOW post (rather than your main blog page) in the Mr. Linky below...this will enable everyone to find your post more easily.  And be sure to visit the others who have shared today!

It's funny sometimes...not in a "haha funny" way, but an "interesting funny" way...how God works...and even funnier how much it still surprises me sometimes even though I have watched God work in strange and amazing ways for many years.  

When I chose this quote for today, I was in a bit of a rush...I keep a file of quotes for use in various ways, and I went through it and quickly thought, "Oh, I love that one, and that is one I really need to think on more deeply."  Plus, it's from one of my recent favorite reads, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream , by David Platt.  

I had no idea at the time that I would also be sharing from Radical in last week's IOW post, or that last week's post would be on the necessity of the Holy Spirit's power in our lives.  I also hadn't really given thought to the date I'd be posting...which was good, because if I had, I'm afraid it would have caused no end of anxiety!   I've looked toward this week ever since December with much excitement, but also with the awareness that it would be an incredibly challenging week.  Since that time, a few additional (exciting but challenging) opportunities have been added to the calendar as well....leaving me going in several directions at once, in a time when I don't multi-task as well as I used to!  In addition, God has been slowly drawing...pushing? :)...us toward the idea of a possible ministry opportunity that at this point seems to be on the far distant horizon, but yet seems to be becoming more clear every day.   

In the midst of it all, Satan bombards with doubts.  Doubts about physical abilities, schedule issues, financial issues, and just plain old fear of failure.  

Right now, physical abilities are a big concern.  That's been a huge area of struggle for the past few years.   This past week, I was hit hard there again.  I was heading into a weekend full of heavier responsibilites than I generally commit to these days, and already praying for strength to fulfill them, knowing that this week would be very demanding as well, and I wouldn't really have "down time" in between to recuperate.  Then mid-week, a major pain flare hit.  And then on Friday I woke up with numbness and spasming in my right hand.  I've had occasional issues with that before...usually when I am practicing the piano more than usual in preparation for a children's musical.  However, the last few weeks I'd barely touched a piano.  This was completely out of the blue.  By evening, my left hand was affected as well.  

And...the most important items on my list for that day and for the coming week all involved detail work with my hands.  

My initial response was panic.  My next was prayer.  Not just my own, but asking several people I knew would pray faithfully to pray as well.  As I did, I kept thinking "What on EARTH is going on?  Why does this always happen when I need my hands the most??  And what is up with this NOW of all times?  When I am having marathon piano practice sessions, I understand, but I haven't done anything to cause this now."  

And then I realized.  The other times that this has happened have been times...like this week...when I have desperately needed my hands.  They have been times when I have had to say, "Lord, you know the task ahead, the responsibilities I have, the need to fulfill them so as not to let others down.  These are your hands...you use them.  You are going to have to make them work, because I can't."  And He has.   And it has been obvious that it was "all God" and none of me accomplishing those things.  

There have been so many times over the last few years that God has used my physical abilities...or temporary lack of them...to remind me that I can...quite literally at those times!...do *nothing* without Him....that anything that is accomplished is *only* through His power.  I realized Friday, as I sat watching my fingers look like they were playing a non-existent keyboard on my desk (when I wasn't "moving" them at all...eek!), that this was going to be another one of those times.  

God has already, between Friday and today, shown His immeasurable power in my weakness.   A friend and I were talking last night about the fact that my physical issues always seem to be the worst right before periods of larger than usual responsibilities.   I said to her, "It's as though God is saying, 'I want you to know beyond ANY shadow of doubt that it is ME doing this...not you.'"   It's so easy to forget that, but in those times He makes it crystal clear.  

The "events" involved...then and now...are not earth-shattering ones.  Important, yes.  Exciting, yes.  World-changing, no. :)  But as I've pondered David Platt's quote, I have realized something.  Those events...things like children's choir musicals and this weekend's wedding...and the faithfulness and power God has shown and is showing through them...have been a training ground for other things.  

As I look toward more "serious" and long-term responsibilities and ministry opportunities...beginning to move into the jr. high/high school years of homeschooling, the youth girls' Sunday School class I begin teaching this week, and other ministry opportunities on the distant horizon...I realize that the same power that has gotten me through those events, the same power that is going to get me through the events of this week, is the power God offers for the "bigger" things as well.  

God has definitely brought me to a realization of my own limitations...and not just in physical ways, but in other issues as well...over the past few years.  But during those same years, He has taught me *so* much about who HE is...how big, and sovereign, and sufficient, and powerful, and the list goes on and on.  David Platt's quote sums up where He has brought me and where I want to be right now.  He has shown me my ordinary-ness, my limitations, has brought me often to "the end of my rope".   I want to be radically dependent and radically devoted, so that His glory can't help but shine as He demonstrates His provision and His power in my life...not only in the "small things" that often *seem* so big at the time, but in bigger things than we can dream or imagine.  


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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Thank you for joining us today!  I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's quote.  Post on your blog and add the link to Mr. Linky below, or feel free to share in the comments about what you are radically depending on God for today.  And be sure to visit the other In "Other" Words participants to see what they have shared as well!  







4 comments:

MiPa said...

Great quote and great post Jen! I can't wait to hear your "after" report of how God demonstrated his power in your current needs.

Today, I'm finding myself having to be radically dependent upon him as I realize that we move in 25 days (providing the landlord approves our application today). ACK!!! Glad he knew of this move long before we did. ;-)

Thanks for hosting this week. Have a great day!

Karen said...

Really enjoyed the quote today. It brought back memories of old habits that I hope are gone forever. The habit of trying to make it to the end via my own power instead of using God's.

Debbie said...

I'm so glad you chose this quote Jennifer! I must really get this book now too as I've heard such good things about it.

I love how you shared a personal example of your weakness and how God can be strong in you as you surrender to Him.

I will check in with you after I have the opportunity to read it. :)

Hugs,
Debbie

Tami Boesiger said...

I, too, appreciated this quote and the thinking it sparked Jennifer. Though it is scary for you, your current trials ispire me to trust God more. Thanks for sharing them.