You Are Strong but Not Strong Enough

 
How can I almost cry through a soccer game watching your little body sprint and muscle bound legs extend up and down the field? It’s not like you’re wearing a cute dress with your hair in curls singing a sweet, smiley song in a school program. You’re sweaty and throwing elbows and have fire in your eyes and there’s really nothing sentimental about it. But I almost cry through all of your soccer games because along with that YMCA uniform, you wear your heart on your sleeve. I see it and it pulls my heart right into my throat. You are fighting to win that game and that ball with all the strength of your 40 lb body. You want to run fastest and be the best and I see your exertion and know as hard as you’re fighting if this all ends in disappointment, you’ll fall hard. Your emotion usually evokes my emotion. . . for better and worse. After all, the days are long and mama’s temper is short. Isn’t that how the saying goes?
Godly Women are Strong Women

I’ve spent most of the past 7 years clarifying womanhood for you in these posts so you could be assured godly women are spiritually strong women. You love muscles and rough and tough and I think that coincides beautifully with the inner grit required of a woman following Christ’s path. No flowery beds of ease. In fact, sometimes, no bed at all, just like the Savior she follows.

So knowing the foundation we’ve already given you in some of what it means to be a Christian woman, this past year we have been encouraging you in one of the many paradoxes of the Christian life. Strength through weakness. There’s a true, lasting strength you won’t experience until you are weak, at the end of yourself, undone by your sin, and realizing your neediness.

#mightyruby

Last fall, when Kacy Catanzaro became the first woman to complete the City Finals Course and make it to American Ninja Warrior National Finals, the trending hashtag was #mightykacy. You watched her 5 ft frame defy obstacles that should’ve been too hard for her at her height. You said you couldn’t wait until you’re old enough to try out! So we started calling you #mightyruby on occasion to encourage you to aim high and use your God-given athleticism as far as God allows it to take you.

#mightiergod

At the beach on Saturday, the tide was low, so we ended up farther away from you than normal. I kept my eye on you though, and couldn’t help but see the contrast of your little form against the unending shoreline on each side of you. I watched the waves tumbling in, threatening to devour you with each thrust, one after another. You were for the most part, oblivious, until we we stepped into those crashing and foamy towers and then you clung onto me realizing again their power and your weakness. I told you, in so many words, that waves are one of God’s many ways of flexing his muscles. And that as strong as we might feel, we wouldn’t last long if we tried to fight against them. I asked you if you could strain your eyes to see where the ocean ended and you laughed saying, “No!” As we jumped through the current, I reminded you the Bible says God holds these immense, expansive and devouring oceans in the palm of his hand. Amazing. Do you see it, Ruby Jean? #mightyruby is no match for #mightiergod!

So that’s why we point out the sin in your heart, so you will see your need and let him conquer all of those rebel powers fighting within. That’s why we love you enough to show you the battle you’re fighting is a losing one and holding onto your sin isn’t a sign of strength, but foolishness because it’s leading you to the grave. We don’t mince words but speak the truth in love so you will know, as Hannah prayed dedicating her child who was an answer to her prayers and weeping and longing too, “It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the Lord will be broken.” (1 Samuel 2:9)

See the weakness and neediness in your sinful heart #mightyruby. And bow the knee to #mightiergod. That is my heartfelt and heartbroken prayer for you in this 7th year of your life. Because Ruby, your physical strength might take you far in this life, but you can’t strong arm God to get to heaven.

“[God] said, “. . . my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses. . .For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)

 

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