Mar 2, 2014

Strength is more than endurance

At the beginning of the New Year, I chose a word.  STRENGTH.

A word with loads of potential.  A word I have not stopped thinking about since I chose it.
I've been thinking about what it is.
I've been thinking about what it is not.
I've been considering how I can gain some.
I've been discouraged because I seem to lack much.

What a word to choose.  When I was in denial about suffering from yet another bout of depression.  When I have just started a new adventure, a new challenge (turned in my application just last week).
When I just limped away from a rough year, wounded and exhausted.
I am surrounded by so many friends who seem to have strength in spades, yet all seem to doubt they possess it in truth.

Today's thought is that Strength is MORE than just endurance.

I know this because I've lived it.  I tried to put my head down and endure, for years I've used that type of strength, and I discovered something -- when you just endure, one good shove and you will fall. 

You see, endurance sounds good, but often when you are in "endurance mode", you are running yourself into the ground.  You are pushing and pushing and pushing yourself and suddenly you wake up and you realize that you can't pick that foot up and put it in front of the other. 

You hit a wall.

True strength comes from outside of ourselves.   It is that moment when you can't take another step, you are weary and ready to fall, and suddenly there is Someone there beside you, Someone who is encouraging you to keep going.  Someone who is helping you to "rise on wings like eagles." 

That kind of strength comes from OUTSIDE of yourself.

That is the kind of strength I need when I can't find my hope. 
That is the kind of strength I need when my body is failing to fight off another anxiety attack, when my mind is weak and my heart is heavy.

This strength:
Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom. 
 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

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  1. I've never thought of it that way...that endurance and strength are not the same. I endured a lot during the past few months, but I did not come out feeling stronger. The more we turn to Him, the stronger we become. But, sometimes I those weak, depressed moments I forget where He is.

  2. Hi AJ,

    "He gives strength to the weary"! Yes, so encouraging, huh? Sounds like an apt word.

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan


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