It’s hard to believe that this year is more than half over and we have been blessed by so many testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Each week we read the encouragement of women who are seeking to love God with all they have and live that out in their part of the world. Let’s see this beautiful directive again.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
So far this year, we have talked about loving God whole heartedly, whole souled and now we kick off this section with talking about loving God and living with all our might or strength. What exactly does that mean? The Hebrew word for strength or might used here is “ma ‘od” and means force, might, or muchness.
I grew up watching Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels and The Bionic Woman. Okay, I am old, but what fun I had pretending to have cool superpowers and the ability to be beautiful as well. These characters gave the impression that girls could be strong and fight the “bad guys” even while maintaining a great sense of fashion. Who wouldn’t want to emulate that? But as I got older, I began to see strong women in my life that didn’t wear capes and crowns, carry weapons, or necessarily run faster than others. (Though many of them had killer fashion sense) I saw women who faced trials, suffered loss, experienced sickness, disappointments, brokenness with a strength that even Wonder Woman or the Bionic Woman didn’t have. These women had soul strength!
As I sit and type this post, I personally know four women around my age who are fighting cancer at some stage. A couple other friends have been recently betrayed in relationships and others have experienced loss of loved ones (both in and out of the womb). None of these dear ones can rely on a super power, crown, great style or even the most high powered weapons to battle their enemy. The fight to live according to our directive above must be fought at such a deeper level. The fight to love when your heart is hurting and your body is sick must be fought with stronger weapons. And yet, the Bible reminds us….
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Soul strength, the true strength we need to live and love in this sin wrecked world is found in admitting our weakness. Wow! That will turn us upside down, won’t it! Especially, in this day and age when we as women do NOT want to be ever viewed as weak. But, did you catch it? To be really strong, is to admit we need help and most importantly, we need a Helper! This is not a cute graphic you find on Instagram or the cover of a new journal. NO! This is a deep word, a truth that the living person, Jesus Christ is able and willing to help us in the fight with our fears and doubts, our battles to love and live in light of the fact that He is good even when our present circumstances are terrible.
Strong women, really strong souled women do what the Psalmist says in Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
Oh friend, whatever season you find yourself in today, I have a feeling that the above passage just brought tears to your eyes. Why? Because down deep, we know that’s exactly what we need. We need a Helper, we need a Keeper, we need the LORD! This life is hard, we get sick, we are betrayed, we walk through terrible sufferings and we have a living God who is with us when nothing else seems to soothe the ache of our soul, the darkness around our minds and the fear in our hearts.
This quarter of the year, we are going to hear from dear sisters who have walked through the hard stuff or are currently in that season as they talk about finding our soul strength, our “muchness” in Jesus and then loving Him with everything we’ve got.
Can I just tell you that if you are in the thick darkness right now, Jesus is there! I pray that you have sisters around you in the faith that can speak the muchness of Jesus and His Word to you and over you as you walk through this time.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
For those of us walking in a season of plenty and blessing right now, let us be faithful to love our friends at the soul level and lend our muchness to them in prayer and service. And may our good God use each of us for His glory and the growth of His kingdom.
Angela and her husband currently live in GA, USA. They have four children at home and one married in 2018. Angela is passionate about ministry to women and loves to meet new friends. She’s been teaching the Bible for over 25 years and desires to encourage women to study the Word for themselves and see the beauty of Jesus in their lives. Follow along with her on facebook at Angela Wheeler Boeckman and on Instagram @acwboeckman. Thanks for reading!