I had spent four days tending my husband in the hospital, brought him home for thirty-two hours only to put him back in the hospital for uncontrolled pain. This time, I didn't stay. I felt like a failure. I was sick with fatigue and I couldn't go on any further.
My life verse has always been "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" (Phil 4:13). In that moment, I realized I had abused God's power, treating Him like an electrical outlet, plugging into his power to accomplish what I thought I needed to do.
There was an element of truth in my thinking. God does give us the power to do above and beyond what we think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20,21). However, was I doing what God wanted me to do? Was tending my husband 24/7 God's best for me, for him, for the church to which Jack ministered? Did I want others to see the Christ who lived in me or to see me as a replica of the Energizer Bunny? "Look at Karen. Through God's power, she just keeps going and going."
God's power must be linked with his wisdom and authority. When we rely on him, we must trust His unlimited knowledge and sovereign plan for our lives. Paul wrote to the Philippians, "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his great pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
God's plan for me was to take away my self-sufficiency so our church family could experience the joy of ministering to me and my husband. As I learned to rely on others for rides to the hospital, I discovered God's greater plan: a chance for me to strengthen the bonds between me and several members of the congregation we had served for only eight months. After getting adequate rest, God gave me the wisdom I needed to understand and cope with my husband's medical issues.
Instead of using His strength to empower our own agendas, God wants us to join Him in accomplishing His plans. God shares His power with us so He can achieve His purposes through us.
Karen Wingate is a minister's wife living in Roseville, Illinois. She writes a children's ministry blog at www.childrenteach.blogspot.com
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