I have been doing a lot of thinking about strength lately. More specifically, I've been thinking a lot about this phrase coming from Exodus 13:14, "By strength of hand, the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage." And I've been plagued by this thought: What exactly is God's strength of hand?
I mean I know what my strength of hand is. I know how to push, pull, lift, and support with my hands. To snatch something away quickly, to offer a hand to stabilize my toddler, to reach out my hand to stop my 4 year old from doing something she shouldn't do. But what exactly is God's strength of hand?
It must be so much more than my concept of strength. I mean, God is my strength. God is strength. God is so much more than strength. And thinking about God's strength, just makes me think about how weak I really am.
Over the past 6 months, watching my mother struggle with the effects of diabetes really hammered home for me just how frail the human body is. For anyone who has tried to open a jar and couldn't, or lift something that was too heavy, or do something that your strength just wouldn't allow you to do... the feeling you have is something akin to impotence and to powerlessness. And if your day to day life is plagued with those feelings of weakness and lack of strength, you could get lost in the abyss of negative emotions (doubt, sadness, depression). But o troubled soul there is a God.
Thinking about my own weaknesses makes me feel sad and inferior. I'm not the smartest, not the wittiest, not the funniest. But you know what... I have decided to embrace those things. I embrace my weaknesses because they make me humble. They remind me that my strength does not come from me. My strength comes from God. My weaknesses remind me that without God I would be nothing; that I would be able to accomplish nothing; that my life would be worth nothing. As a child of the Most High God, I have enjoyed success that I did not earn, blessings that I did not deserve, happiness that should not have been mine. And since I know my own limitations, since I know my own weakness, I know for myself that these things were not created by my strength of hand. But rather, by strength of hand, the LORD brought me out.