Just as Joni depends on other people to be her hand. so much more do we need to rely on God for strength to strength.
As a quadriplegic, I love borrowing people's hands. You know that my own hands don't work, and so I need the help of others to reach for things, open doors, assist me in and out of my wheelchair, open a jar, help me put on a jacket... all kinds of stuff. And I'm not ashamed to say, that I need the help of others. Now, if you were to serve as "my hands" for a day at the office, I'd keep you plenty busy. I would need you to sit next to me at my computer and type as I speak. Can you do a hundred words a minute? That's how fast I talk once I get rolling.
Later on you could help me reach for books, flip open or dog-ear certain pages, I'd send you off to the copying machine to photocopy a couple of things, file my research, reply to e-mails, brew coffee - with a little bit of milk, thank you, no sugar - take dictation, type letters, zap my lunch in the microwave, help me in the restroom, empty my leg bag, dial phone numbers, take messages, run errands, and if I need an adjustment with my corset or catheter, help me lie down on the office sofa. And we're only halfway through the day!
How would we accomplish so much work? Well, we would do it through Spirit-inspired energy! I promise, we would. It's the way my secretary, Francie, and I go through the day. Just like it says in Psalm 84, we go from "strength to strength". I love that phrase because it means not tackling the next responsibility with the strength you enjoyed an hour ago. To go from "strength to strength" means to ask God for fresh energy for the next thing on your plate. It's pausing in between projects to pray. Pulling a hymnal off the shelf to sing praise songs before lunch. Praying over the phone with someone who happens to call. Stopping for tea at four o'clock and reading a line or two of Scripture - boy, I haven't done that in a long time; I need to do that next week. Going from "strength to strength" in God's Spirit is the pause that refreshes.
It's the only way to work. It's the only way to tackle your day at the office or in your home or at school. To be honest, it's the only way to live. Psalm 84 says, "Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, -- that means the valley of tears -- they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion."
Friend, if you have set your heart on pilgrimage, you're going somewhere! But you can only get there if you move through your day, your busy day, from strength to strength.
So ask the Lord to remind you to take many pauses throughout the morning, afternoon, or evening... pause to think about him, to go to God for grace and fresh strength, to share a verse of Scripture with a friend, or sing a hymn even if no one is around. For as you do, the promise is, God will carry you - and He'll do it -- from strength to strength.
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