In all things, give thanks. (A show of hands of those who find that to be one of the most difficult, curious, or at times seemingly impossible messages we can find in God’s word.) Yesterday we began listing our blessings and what we’re thankful for, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed your comments. Truly, if the week of Thanksgiving reminds us of anything, it would be our ultimate and utter dependence on the Lord. When we imagine what all we have, we acknowledge that none of it is earned or deserved; from the air we breathe, to the cars we drive, to the family and friends joining us at the table. All blessings, all gifts, all God.
But then come the weaknesses of life. Those don’t always make our list, right? In this selfie generation and especially in the fitness industry, we don’t like to talk about our weaknesses. We’d rather boast, gloat, and promote ourselves. But friends, thankfulness and contentment aren’t found in self-confidence, self-talk, self-esteem, self-sufficiency or self-assurance. If anything is self-evident, it’s that we need a little ‘self’ control. The Biblical truth? God doesn’t applaud our self-reliance.
So, pause on this: One of our greatest strengths is realizing just how weak we are. If that’s tough for us to admit, chances are we’d feel really uncomfortable around Paul. After all, it was Paul who said, “I am going to boast only about how weak I am and how great God is to use such weakness for His glory.” Friends, make no mistake, our weakness drives us (and those around us) to the Lord. And that’s one of the ways we can give thanks in all things. Call it divine irony. The tough stuff of life brings us to our knees, which just so happens to be the only place of strength.
For Discussion: How has God used your weakness for His glory? Can you look back at a time when illness or other weaknesses drew you nearer to Him? If you’re a Christian in the fitness industry and you struggle with humility, constantly trying to impress others with perceived strengths, try and remember that our greatest impact on others won’t come when we’re pretentious, but rather when we have a good, tight grip on the obvious: our smallness.
Thanksgiving Turkey: Ok kids, share time. What is your family secret for the best turkey? Here’s mine. We use an oven roaster and cook it overnight. True story. It sits in water, spices and all things delicious, and the meat literally falls off the bone the next day. By the time it’s ready to serve, the natural juices become this amazing gravy. We separate the meat and it’s ready for all the good times. Ok then. Your turn. Give up the goods.