Hi! My name is Bethany Griggs. I’m a friend of Amaris and I live in Texas. While we have known each other for 7 years now, we never got to know each other very well until last year because we live so far apart. But, we started chatting a lot last summer when we both had something really big in common.
It was July 2018, and something major was about to happen in my life. The phone rang and my dad took the call. It was our doctor calling with the results of my test and letting us know that I had Lyme disease. I have had health problems for years, but we had never known what it was. Looking back on it now, we can see that I probably had Lyme disease for over 16 years before I was diagnosed.
We decided to do one week of antibiotics before treating it naturally, but we had no idea what it would do. That one week of antibiotics took me from being a normally functioning person to being someone who could hardly walk from my bed to the couch. Even today, I still use a wheelchair when I go places. I am thankful that I do not have much pain like most people who have Lyme. I am really weak and have damage to my heart, nerves, etc. It has already been over a year since I was diagnosed. Of course, that year has been full of pills and trying many different things to see if they will help me recover. This trial has not been easy, but at the same time, I am so thankful for it. God has used it to teach me some special lessons that I had never slowed down long enough to learn.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” II Corinthians 12:9-10
God has been showing me that when we are weak and are unable to do things in our own strength, it is then that He is able to show His power in our lives and receive glory. How amazing is this?! God wants to take our weaknesses, fears, and inabilities and create something beautiful that brings Him glory. The God Who created everything and is all powerful, delights in receiving glory from our weakness. That is such a humbling thought.
When we feel confident in our strength and as though we have everything under control, do you know what often happens? That’s right. We become proud of our accomplishments and forget to give God the glory. This is why God loves to use our weakness. When we are weak in a certain area and God brings good out of that, then it is obvious that it was Him that did it and not us.
Of course you remember the story of Queen Esther. She was a Jew, and her cousin Mordecai asked her to help save her people whom Haman was plotting to destroy. When Mordecai came to her, Esther said, “Of course I’ll help. I’m the queen, and my husband will listen to me. You came to the right person. Don’t worry about a thing; I’ve got this covered.” By now, you are probably wondering what translation I read…that is not at all what happened!! Esther was afraid and knew that she could die for going to the king. But, she agreed to fast and pray and then appeal to the king, and she said, “if I perish, I perish.” God heard Esther’s prayers, and He answered her and used her to save her people. The reason God used her was because she chose to act in obedience and follow His leading even though she was afraid and was in a weak position.
When God brings opportunities across our paths, it is pretty easy to do them when we feel capable and prepared. But, what about when God calls us to do something that we do not feel ready for? It may be something like playing an instrument in church, handing someone a gospel tract, or even giving a word of testimony to a friend. We do not have to wait until we have it all together to minister, because the truth is, we will never have it all together. God wants us to step out in faith and allow Him to work through our weakness. When we do, then He can receive the glory. People will be able to tell that it is God doing things through us that we could never do.
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: NO good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11
This is another verse that has become more meaningful to me. My illness has meant that I have not been able to do some things that I have been used to do doing. I know that for various reasons everyone will have disappointments to face from not being able to do the things that they want to do. Sometimes those things look really good to us and seem like they would be best. However, God has promised that He will give us what is truly good for us if we are in the center of His will. If He withholds something from us, we can be sure that it is because that thing is not good for us.
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:34
When you have a lot of time on your hands, it is easy to worry about things that are not in your control. It is hard to keep your mind focused on things that are true, lovely, and pure as we are told in Philippians 4:8. This verse tells us one of the keys to that. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Most of the things that we worry about are in the future and not today, if they even happen at all. If we live one day at a time trusting the Lord, we will have a lot less worries. Another thing that helps is to give the things that we are worrying about to God and ask Him to take care of them. We can ask Him to give us peace and victory over our thoughts and feelings. When we worry, we are not helping anything, we are just taking away our joy from today.
So, when God asks you to do something, step out and be available. If you are nervous about it and feel weak in that area, talk to God about it. Ask Him to show Himself powerful in the situation for you. God is wanting you to be available and let Him take control of your life in every area. You never have the strength to do anything good apart from Him, but He will make His strength perfect in your weakness if you only ask.
If God chooses to withhold something from you, trust Him. He is withholding it because it is not best for you. Who knows what He is preparing for you that is right around the corner if you only wait and trust!
Let’s focus on the blessings that God has given us today. He will be with us step by step and day by day.
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion’s fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Thank you Amaris, for giving me this opportunity to write a guest post on your blog. ~Bethany
Pictures from Bethany Griggs.