“I can’t wait till three years from now,” Connor sighed this past Sunday.
We had been chatting lightly about summer camp, where he’s currently spending the week. In three years, his sister will be old enough to attend, and I assumed his anticipation was somehow related to that fact.
“I’ll finally be a teenager,” he went on. And then, as I was taking a shaky breath to respond to that, a second blow to the soul:
“And Clayton will be 20.”
I went to the kitchen and poked my eyes out with forks.
This whole week has been filled with little moments like that — soft glimpses of hard realities — pebbles chipped off the painful rocks where I kneel and hurt and pray.
I have not done enough. I am not good enough, pretty enough, wise enough, brave enough, mom enough. The days are not long enough, and my lists are not short enough.
Nothing is enough.
And so, Paul prays for the Colossians, but he also prays for me.
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy (Colossians 1:11).
Paul has asked God that the Colossians believe and surrender to God’s will as the most good thing for their lives. He has shown them being filled with the knowledge of God’s will is the only way to walk in a manner worthy of Christ.
Now he asks for God’s supernatural power to help them do it.
Jesus did this, too. The cross and the empty tomb show us how to hope in our faith, but the night in the garden shows us how to walk in it. Christ kneels and hurts and prays at His rock along with us:
Not my will, but yours be done.
It’s the heart of it all, this radical freedom-bondage of the Christian life.
Help me give up control so things will be under control. Help me bow down so I can stand straight and walk.
Make me a slave so I can be free.
I can’t do this by myself. I was not made to.
And Paul knows it. So he asks that we be strengthened “according to His glorious might,” kratos, a Greek word that shows the power source I must tap into is nothing less than God’s eternal authority and dominion over the entire universe. It is the same word for might used in the song sung to God and His Son by every creature in heaven and on earth:
To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever! Revelation 5:13
And so, to the throne and to the Lamb I must go. God brings the power & strength; all I bring is surrender.
My rocks become my altars.
Then trials become temples, where I worship and pray for the strength to sacrifice my will in exchange for His.
Then heartaches become holy ground, where I trade exhaustion and fears for endurance and patience filled with joy.