I’ve had an unusually difficult week – one of those weeks when you come face to face with your own inadequacy and weakness – as a pastor, as a leader and as a father. In fact I came dangerously close to feeling like an utter failure. I don’t think I’m alone in this. I bet half the people reading this either recently have, or are experiencing this right now.
So when this happens to you, what do you do? Well I guess you could share it with a friend and they might have something encouraging to say. Or you could pick up a one of those motivational books that make you feel better about yourself. As for myself, I take this straight to Jesus. He’s more than capable of dealing with stuff like this.
So I get in the Word and find myself in Psalm 147. Check out these verses:
5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 6 The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, 11 but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love
Just the medicine needed for weak and weary soul. The Lord doesn’t delight in my strength. That was good news because right then I didn’t have any. But what kind of “strength” did the Psalmist have in mind? I opened my Spurgeon’s Treasury of David and saw what he had to say. I found this wonderful quote by Joseph Caryl (I have changed some of the wording for modern English):
No man is favoured by God because of his outward favour, because he has a beautiful face, or strong, clean limbs; yea, not only has the Lord no pleasure in any man’s legs, but not in any man’s brains, how reaching they may be, not in any man’s wit how quick it may be, nor in any man’s judgment how deep it may be, nor in any man’s tongue how eloquent or well spoken it may be; but The Lord takes pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy, in those that walk humbly with him, and call upon him
So the answer to my weakness as a pastor and a leader and a father wasn’t stronger legs or better brains or quicker judgment or a more eloquent tongue. It was in the Lord – in His strength and His ability and His power.
I must remember this for next time. I’m sure it will come soon.