One of my favorite songs for about the last year is, “You Are My Strength.” I fell in love with it as a result of Maranda Curtis singing it at the Potter’s House in Dallas. It’s the number four track on the fourth cd in rotation in my car. I listen to it often. Sometimes I listen to it, and then hit “back” to listen again. I knew I listened to it alot but this thought was confirmed one day riding in the car with my mom. As soon as the song comes on, Maranda says, “Hallelujah.” My mom belted out, “That’s my song!” I laughed. We were in some serious agreement. On this version, at the end, Maranda transitions from repeatedly singing “The Blood, The Blood, The Blood, The Blood” into “It reaches to highest mountain.” I’m like done done at this point, in full worship. Bishop TD Jakes comes in singing about the Blood as well. This version does it for me. So, yesterday during praise and worship, when the choir at my church sang “You Are My Strength,” I felt like I would miss my favorite version because our choir doesn’t transition into “The Blood Will Never Loose Its Power.” But God.
God has such a funny way of surpassing our limitations. He is not to be boxed in. Ever. I ministered in dance on the floor, directly in front of the communion table. The photo attached to this blog demonstrates me doing a physical movement to represent strength, but I am reminded of the fact that we get strength, operate in strength, manifest strength only as a result of the sacrifice that was made at Calvary. So while I was bummed about the song being sung differently with the elimination of my favorite lyrics, God blew my mind by allowing me to see the visual representation of the words that prick my heart and subsequently my life.
The sole reason we are able to live, move and have our being is a direct correlation to what Jesus did on the cross. During this Lenten season folk everywhere are giving up food, actions, time and other considerations as an acknowledgement of Christ giving up His life so that we may live in our full liberty. Whatever ails us, frustrates us, concerns us may be navigated because of the strength that we are afforded from Christ’s obedience, even until death. As challenging as sticking to whatever we’ve determined for 40 days can be managed when we choose to operate in the strength of Christ. Yet it’s critical for us to understand and accept that Christ’s strength will be viewed as weakness in the world. And we need to be okay with that characterization, flawed as it is. Why? Because when we try to present differently or conform or attempt to convince the world otherwise, we are dangerously operating in our strength, which is not only fragile but even more not sustainable. II Corinthians 12:10 supports this philosophy, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Strength is not always visible or traceable to the human eye or ear. I didn’t need to hear the lyrics about “The Blood,” when I was granted the visual representation. Just because our strength may not be visible to others, doesn’t mean that it isn’t functioning. The author and finisher of our faith knows precisely when to kick it in gear as we trust and yield to His will. We must allow and create and curate space for God to be God. He doesn’t require our strength, He’s got an abundance all by himself.