And Now Let the Strong Say I am Weak...
Don Moen wrote a beautiful heartfelt song in 1986 entitled “Give Thanks”. Many people have done various covers of this song in the gospel music world. From memory, the words to the song are:
“Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son
And now let the weak say, ‘I am strong’
Let the poor say, ‘I am rich’
Because of what the Lord has done for us
(I know that if I am missing some lyrics then people are MORE than ready to make sure to tell me.)
There is a line within this song that always got me through hard times when I was younger because I always felt like I was weak and cried so much over the smallest things. It is:
“And now let the weak say I am strong….Let the poor say I am rich...because of what the Lord has done for us….”
As things would happen in my life over the years, I really began to speak over myself that “I am strong...I am not weak...this will not affect me like this...I will not cry...I will keep moving….I will keep pushing...I will keep going...I cannot stop…”. I literally spoke it UNTIL I BELIEVED IT!!! I quickly stopped crying over spilled milk and demanded that things and people will not affect me negatively anymore.
After developing that mindset, literally, while I was in elementary school, people started to come to me for advice, to be their sounding board or simply to get some things off of their chest. They unraveled to someone they thought cared enough to listen. Since I am a compassionate person, I loved to listen to every last person who would come to me! I would say, “If they needed to talk then the Lord gave me ears to listen...I will use them accordingly.”
By having this mindset for 20+ years now I can say that I have conditioned myself to form my own definition of what it means to be strong and not so much of the technical definition of what it means to be strong. There are a lot of us who would consider ourselves to be “strong” people. I don't mean “strong” as in the capability to lift heavy weights in order for our muscles to become toned and sculpted. The type of “strong” or strength that I’m referring to is the capacity to support, help and/or hold others up when times are not the absolute best. The type of strength that encourages people when they are down and then walk with them through some hard areas of their life and get to the root of some things in their heart that others decided was not worth the time. It’s the type of strength (and dedication) that eats the fruit of longsuffering and walks in patience.
I have come to learn that being strong is not being someone who is responsible for saving anyone from anything. Being strong doesn’t mean to isolate your role as to being someone’s “personal savior” and believing that you can save anyone from their own bad decisions or lack of turning of their will. Being strong does not mean that you don’t cry. It does not mean that you cannot stop moving to embrace a brief moment of pain and cry. Being strong does not mean that I cannot be human. YET being strong is actually giving the people that you have been strong for an opportunity to hold you up. Does it have to be every one of them?! HEAVENS NO!!! Of course, wisdom has to be applied because, to be honest, everyone that you have been strong for most likely won’t be able to handle seeing you without your armor on; it may cause some discouragement.
I am saying all of that to say this: This week is leading up to Thanksgiving. It’s a time to be with family, friends and loved ones and some of those people have been the ones who have seen you at your lowest moments in life. The beautiful thing is that they loved you through that moment. Knowing that you will cry, they hand you a tissue, watch the door to make sure that no one comes into the room while you are doing so, then they will help you clean your face off and tell you to face another day!! These are the people who have poured into you when you felt you had nothing left, talked you off of your mental cliff when you were ready to snap. These are the ones who tell you the bonafide truth to keep you humble and keep your feet planted because you may have been getting a little too prideful. These are the people in your life that are on your left and right holding your arms while the battle is in the midst of being won. They are the Jonathan’s to the David’s, the Martha’s to the Mary’s, the Peter’s, John’s and James’ in your life!!
I encourage that we who are strong take a moment of gratitude for those in our lives that we can be weak in front of and they love us the same!! Truly our lives would NOT be the same without them....