This past Sunday I preached from Ephesians 6:10. One of the things that I was overwhelmed by as I was studying that passage is something that William Gurnall wrote in his work, The Christian in Complete Armor.
Look once again, poor heart, into thy own bosom, and see whether thou findest not some strength sent unto thee, which thou didst overlook before; this may be, yea, is very ordinary in this case, when God answers our prayer no in the letter, or when the thing itself is sent, but it comes in at the back-door, while we are expecting it at the fore; and truly thus the friend thou art looking for may be in thine house and thou not know it. (Kindle Locations 1387-1390)
How often we fail to see the strength that God has given to us already. I think it is because we expect that strength to look like a Herculean power, that would make us spiritual Popeye’s, rather, than seeing strength as that which endures the onslaught and remains standing.
When Hurricane Ike hit Texas in 2008, we had this massive oak tree in our front yard. That small hurricane, batted that tree around like it was nothing. But the tree, remained steadfast. The ground would at times bulge upward, as though the force of the winds were pushing it of its place. But in the end the tree remained and as far as I know, still remains to this day.
God does give to us strength when we ask, but I do believe it looks very different from what our Christian culture is longing for. It is not flashy, slick or trendy. It is a steady, rooted, and grounded strength, that draws constantly from the gospel of Christ, like a tap root lunged into an underground stream.
Beloved, if you have Christ, you have strength.