by Marie McPherson
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4–5 NKJV).
God demands that I love Him with all of my heart. And with all of my soul. But with all of my strength? Well, that almost seems like an insult to God! With all the needs and demands of my vocations, including motherhood, sometimes I don’t have much strength left. Some days, it’s hard to get out of bed, much less love the Lord my God with all of my strength!
If you feel the same way, you are in good company. Biblical company, in fact. Samson, a man previously known for his strength, prayed for God’s strength to punish his enemies (Judges 16). Nehemiah asked for the Lord to strengthen his hands to rebuild Jerusalem’s wall. Isaiah found his strength and his song in God. Even the patriarch Abraham was strengthened in faith (Romans 4:20). All of these diverse historical figures had one thing in common: They didn’t muster up strength from inside themselves. Rather, they looked to the One True God to supply their strength, day by day.
God’s Son began His life weak and helpless, laid in a feeding trough. He began His ministry weak and tempted, vulnerable in the desert. In a weakened state from the scourging, Jesus died on the cross, making you right with God, filling you with His strength. And when God supplies your strength, you are strong, indeed.
All that for my soul is needful He with loving care provides,
Nor of that is He unheedful Which my body needs besides.
When my strength cannot avail me,
When my pow’rs can do no more,
Doth my God His strength outpour;
In my need He doth not fail me.
All things else have but their day,
God’s great love abides for aye.
(Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary 448:3)
For Further Reading: Deuteronomy 6; Psalm 68:35
From Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood, Volume One: Old Testament