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Chase Park Warehouse
Athens, Ga


MEIRA Missions

By My Own Strength

Meredith Raiford

I can endure all things through Christ who gives me strength. Not by my own strength, but by the strength that is given to me by Christ. Not by my own strength.

How very aware of that truth I have become recently. Apart from Christ I have no strength. Separate from Christ I cannot endure all things.

On Wednesday the enemy mounted all his fine horses and road out into battle, waging a fierce war against me. Properly fitted with the armor that God has given me access to, it would have been a mess of a fight, but I could have stood firm. Unfortunately, like an expertly played game of chess, the enemy had been prepping the field of battle long before he struck the first blow.

In my desire to fit into the culture here and be fully present in each moment, I neglected getting time alone to be with God. I grabbed five minutes here and there, like snacks to keep me going rather than meals to fill me up.

By Tuesday I was genuinely feeling the deficiencies in this way of spending time with God. I set my alarm for Wednesday morning at 5:15, deciding that sick or not, my soul needed rest more than my body did. The truth is they both did. I was depleted on all fronts, perfectly isolated and running completely on empty.

Never again will I allow myself to get so close to empty before taking drastic measures to be filled again. As I sat on the bench and pulled out my Bible, a swarm of mosquitoes came and hovered around me. There they stayed, until the boys started coming in and my time with God was up. Defeated I walked into my room and put my bible away. The rest of the day went accordingly. Little thing after little thing, like small slaps in the face as the enemy held me back from every resource I so desperately needed.

Thankfully this is not where my post ends, and this is not where God allowed me to remain. God is faithful, even when we are not. He allowed me to learn a much needed lesson in a very real way, but He never intended to leave me trapped in the consequences of my inaction. He is a good father. I cried out to Him for help, and He answered.

The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. [2 chron. 16:9)

Lovingly He restored me and refreshed me. I needed food. He restored my appetite so I could eat a full meal. I was emotionally drained. He gave me a safe space to cry and receive encouragement from friends and family. I was exhausted. He gave me time to nap, and a full night of uninterrupted sleep. I needed reassurance of His active presence in my life. He showered me with sweet encouragement that only He could give.

By Thursday morning I was overflowing once more. My joy, my strength, my peace was restored. I am my beloved’s and He is mine. This task He has given me is far too big to handle on my own. By my own strength I cannot endure. Praise God that I don’t have to rely on my own strength.